Action from Glasgow Tigers' win over Scunthorpe Scorpions (pic: Taylor Lanning)
Glasgow Tigers were yesterday mourning the loss of legendary speedway club founder Ian Hoskins who has passed away, aged 97.
The Australian is credited for establishing the club at White City stadium and it’s colours in 1946, with his death coming in their 75th anniversary year.
Some say his father Johnnie Hoskins was a pivotal figure in the launch of the sport, after he reopened the track in 1945.
Ian took on the role of promoter himself aged just 21 and in the opening season he attracted crowds of around 13,000, despite the Tigers finished bottom of the league.
As well as doing that job, he took on additional roles including team manager and matchday presenter.
Speedway was a regular feature in Glasgow in the 1920s and 30s.
According to SpeedwayPlus, Ian explained how the formation of the club came about in his book, History of the Speedway Hoskins.
The following extract read: “As there had been no league racing in Scotland since 1930, I had to decide quickly on a name and set of body colours for the team.
“I later learned that speedway had once taken place at Celtic Park, home of the Celtic Football Club, in 1927. Jimmy Baxter had run a few meetings there. This gave Scotland the honour of staging Britain’s first speedway event ahead of High Beech.
“I decided that Glasgow Tigers had the right ring to it and that the team’s colours should be red and white vertical stripes, the same as the Sunderland football team, the club I had followed for years when at school.
“My father agreed to both ideas and the next stage was to find a team. This was easier than expected, as the Control Board had drawn up a list of all of the known riders in Britain, and at a big meeting of potential promoters in London, they were allocated to teams on a grading system of merit.
“The first division tracks, of course, had all of the stars and the six second league teams, of which we became one, made do with what was left.
“More than 14,000 people attended the opening meeting, and by the end of the season we averaged almost 13,000 a week. Not one meeting was rained off.”
Current Tigers owner Gerry Facenna paid her own heartfelt tribute to Hoskins on the clubs’ website.
She said: “It is poignant that Ian Hoskins’ death comes in our 75th year.
“There would be no Glasgow Tigers without Ian, right down to the red and white stripes that we continue to race in today, and the influence he had on the sport in Scotland over several decades is immeasurable.
“Speedway is a different sport in 2021 but no less exciting than it was back in 1946.
“The thoughts of everyone at Glasgow are with Ian’s friends and family.”