Dream Team : Tony Taylor
Tony Taylor selects his Peterborough Dream Team
The Panthers top scorer of all time and a rider who has remained loyal over a long period. Nobody has ever ridden Alwalton as well as he has and at times his performances have been absolutely breathtaking. He has taken some criticism for putting his Grand Prix commitments before his club commitments at times and while I'm not happy about that I can understand why he does it. He has the ability to become World Champion and given an equal share of luck he should manage it at some point. It's unimaginable for him to ride for another club now so hopefully he'll be at Peterborough for many years to come.
First joined the club in 1992 on a three point average but by the end of the season he was scoring as a heat leader. Probably nobody else has ever developed from raw reserve to World Class in such a short time as he did. His popularity amongst Panthers fans has obviously fallen since he moved onto Kings Lynn and Belle Vue. Despite this he was a real hero in his three spells with the team and he'd always be welcomed back. There's no way that I could exclude him from my team.
Rode in second half events for many years before he was eligible to ride professionally. Even from an early age it was clear to see that he possessed an incredible talent. When he was 15 he won the Conference League with the Panthers, when he was 16 he won the Premier League with the Panthers and when he was 17 he won the Elite League with the Panthers. Absolutely phenomenal and something that is never likely to be achieved again. His progress thereafter was perhaps not quite as rapid but he's still developing. Sadly he's now moved onto Wolverhampton but I bet a piece of his heart will forever be with the Panthers.
A real hero of mine in the Eighties. He was Panthers number one for a few years and - to my young eyes - he seemed almost invincible. Looking back now he probably didn't score points on the same consistent basis as Ryan does nowadays but he was an excellent rider. I think he left us to return to the British League - we were a lowly National League team in those days. I also remember his brother Mick riding for us at the same time - I always thought he was really old but I think he was probably just prematurely grey.
Mr Peterborough for many years and a rider who seldom let the side down. One of the very best riders in the dying years of the National League and a guy who proved he could mix it in the top league as well. The fact that he was competitive in last year's Aussie Grand Prix is testament to his talent and durability. He also had a tremendous mop of hair of which I was always jealous - even more so now that my own locks are thinning. Sadly his recent injuries probably mean that his career is over.
A brilliant servant to the Panthers cause. We signed him from Ipswich in the early nineties and he developed into a decent rider who could sometimes reach unexpected heights. It's sad that he's opted to retire as he still had so much to offer the sport.
Don't even ask me how many spells this guy had with the club. He first rode for us in the seventies and was still riding for our Conference side in 2002. His form was always excellent at home but inconsistent away from home. We'll never forget when he won the 1984 National League Riders Championship at Peteborough. If I remember correctly the initial staging at Wimbledon was abandoned and Ian made the most of his home advantage in the restaging.
This article was first published on 13/04/2003
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