...Young British rider Tai Woffinden. He'd made his debut riding for Scunthorpe in the lowest division, at the time called the Conference League, the season before, and was still riding for them as well as in the Premier League for Rye House during the 2007 season. At just 16 he was already making a lot of people sit up and take notice - and his results showed why, as he was consistently winning races and beating riders with far more experience.
He regularly partnered Rockets rider Tommy Allen and the pair of them became a formidable partnership for the home side:
We saw that a lot! Never shy of popping a good wheelie when he'd won a race either, our Tai. Even at that stage he had a keen understanding of "what worked" - and as he approached along the home straight on one wheel, he'd actively seek out the camera...
Even when turning out for Scunthorpe in the Conference League fixture against Rye Houses's "Raiders" he got a great reception from the home support. Always happy to sign autographs or have photos taken, awnd with a keen sense of fun, the fans had absolutely taken him to their hearts and the small matter of him riding for the opposition wasn't going to change that!
Towards the end of the season Rye staged the Conference league rider's championship, and Tai represented Scunthorpe. Nobody was greatly surprised when he went through the card, scoring a faultless 15 point maximum and emerging a well deserved winner.
Tai's career has continued on an upward trajectory since. This season he was granted a place in the sport's premier event, the Grand Prix series, and in spite of twice breaking his collarbone in the course of the season, last night he stood atop the podium and received a rather larger and more valuable trophy than that pictured above. Well done Tai - British speedway is VERY proud of you!
TAI WOFFINDEN - SPEEDWAY WORLD CHAMPION 2013!