Speedway: Derek Sneddon is bowled over by tribute

Derek Sneddon and daughter Sophie before the testimonial. Picture: Ron MacNeill
Derek Sneddon and daughter Sophie before the testimonial. Picture: Ron MacNeill
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An emotional Derek Sneddon today paid tribute to everybody who made his testimonial meeting at Armadale last night such a sparkling success and said: “I’m pretty lost for words to be honest, it was a fantastic night.”

Sneddon attracted riders from far and wide to turn out for him and while he wasn’t able to engineer a victory for his own Monarchs side in the four0team competition – that honour went to Newcastle Diamonds – he was just knocked out by the star-studded event.

He said: “I would like to thank the fans, all the riders and the Edinburgh Promotion for making this all happen, and not forgetting my testimonial committee. It has been one of the best things that has happened to me in my speedway career. It was a very special evening and people came from a long way for me, what can I say? I was truly humbled and thank each and every one of them.”

Testimonial gatherings can often be hit and miss, but there was plenty of spirited racing on view, and little evidence that the field was taking things easy. They did not. One of the special riders in the Monarchs’ line-up was former captain Frede Schott who led the Capital side to their first-ever Premier League crown in 2003.

It was the Dane’s first appearance on Scottish soil in nine years, and he said: “It was so nice to be back to pay tribute to Derek. It did not feel as if I had been away for so long, and it was so nice to meet up with so many old friends. It was also great to ride round Armadale again, I just love the place.” For the statistically minded, Newcastle defeated a Rest of the World squad by one point, with Monarchs and Glasgow Tigers finishing in equal third spot.