New team photo
Photograph by Geoff Ridsdale
Paul Cooper, Lee Smethills, Ricky Ashworth, André Compton, Joel Parsons, Ben Wilson, Sam Martin
(not in photo) Kyle Hughes
Ricky Ashworth
Ricky Ashworth Born: SalfordGreater Manchester17th August 1982
Opening CMA May CMAJune CMAJuly CMAAug CMASep CMAOct CMA
7.64  8.30 7.85 7.64 7.93 7.76 7.76

Ricky was a grass tracker until the foot and mouth epidemic of 2001 put the sport on hold and persuaded him to try his hand at speedway. Less than 12 months later "Ricky who?" joined the Tigers.

Fast starting Ricky had a good solid first season in 2002, albeit with the odd mechanical problem, and was a major factor in the Tiger's fortunes. Started the 2003 season at reserve but had claimed the third heat-leader position by August. This earned him rides for Great Britain in the U21 test match wins against Sweden scoring 4+1 at Reading, and a commendable 7 at Wolverhampton.

Ricky doubled up for the Peterborough Panthers in the Elite League in 2004, and 2005 saw him riding for both Sheffield and the Poole Pirates. Ricky concentrated solely on the Tigers in 2006 proudly wearing the No.1 race jacket, and his best meetings seemed to be when he assumed the captaincy when André was injured.

Ricky made the No.1 race jacket his own in 2007 and again improved his average. He sustained a wrist injury in the Premier 4's at Peterborough in July causing him to miss four meetings, but scored 16 (paid 18) in his return match against Edinburgh in August. His best away performance was 13 points at Mildenhall which included a thrilling 5-1 with André in heat 15 to steal victory.

Ricky's season came to a premature conclusion with a broken wrist sustained in a crash with Trent Leverington in the away win at Glasgow.

Current average from official fixtures = 7.76

photograph by:Geoff Ridsdale Fastest time at Owlerton in 2007:60.6 April 5
Fastest time at Owlerton in 2008: 59.7  June 19
Highest scores: Home 15 (max) v Mildenhall (PL) Away 15 v IOW (PL)
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André Compton
André Compton Born: DewsburyYorkshire15th May1977
Opening CMA May CMAJune CMAJuly CMAAug CMASep CMAOct CMA
 9.79 9.52  9.24  9.32 8.88 8.80 8.61

Having helped steer the Tigers to their 1999 Championship win André moved up to the Elite League with Peterborough in 2000, but became a victim of his teams poor initial form. Joining Newcastle he skippered the Diamonds to Championship success in 2001, and invariably performed well against the Tigers. When The Diamonds changed their race day to Sunday for 2003 André went looking for another team and jumped at the chance of rejoining the Tigers, signing a full contract a few weeks into the season.

Following Sean Wilson's injury in 2004 André assumed the skippers role and his form led to him being re-called to double-up for the Elite League Poole Pirates. André won the controversial Premier League Rider's Championship passing the unbeaten Simon Stead in the final before they both fell with André suffering injuries to both hands and wrists bringing his season to an untimely end.

André secured the services of Peter Carr to maintain his bike for the 2005 season, although he was unable to emulate his tremendous home form on the away tracks, and surrendered his PLRC title when he just failed to make the semi-final.

André took over from Sean as captain of the Tigers in 2006 a role which he reprised in 2007 scoring no fewer than 14 maximums and leading the Tigers to the play-off finals in both years.

André announced that he was retiring from the sport prior to the Young Shield defeat to the Isle of Wight which concluded the 2008 season.

Current average from official fixtures = 8.70

photograph by: Geoff Ridsdale Fastest time at Owlerton in 2007:59.6 October 18
Fastest time at Owlerton in 2008: 59.9  June 5
Highest scores: Home 15 (max) v Stoke & Newcastle (PT) & Hull (CH) Away 15 (max) v Glasgow (PL)
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Paul Cooper
Paul Cooper Born: York North Yorkshire 7th June 1982
Opening CMA May CMAJune CMAJuly CMAAug CMASep CMAOct CMA
5.05  5.00 5.60 5.35 5.30 5.69 5.63
Paul made his debut for the Prowlers in 2003 and rode in their Trophy matches in 2004 when work and grass track commitments allowed. His apprenticeship as a joiner completed Paul signed on for the Tigers in 2005. After a torrid trip to Armadale where he failed to open his account and wrote-off various equipment he bounced back with his best score of the season in the narrow defeat at New Craven Park. His season came to a premature conclusion following his heat 2 crash at Glasgow. He is pictured here relaxing at home just four days after surgery to repair the damage to the ligaments, tendons and muscles in his left knee.

In 2006 Paul top scored against the Isle of Wight with a magnificent paid 17. He then joined Conference League team Scunthorpe Scorpions as cover for the injured Wayne Carter, winning the Conference League Best-Pairs meeting riding with Sheffield team-mate Benji Compton as the Scunthorpe 'B' pairing. Paul them broke a bone in his wrist riding against the Boston Braves causing him to struggle through the Play-off final against King's Lynn.

Paul was given another chance in 2007 starting the season in the reserve berth and mounted on new JRM bikes. A torrid weekend in April saw him blow his best engine at Stoke, and his second engine while guesting at Mildenhall the following day, but bounced back scoring paid 11 against Berwick at home and a match winning paid 14 at Shielfield Park using an engine borrowed from Gary Flint! He again contested the Conference League Best-Pairs meeting at Scunthorpe, this time representing Boston alongside Simon Lambert and duly won the title for the second year running.

Paul was given a 'last chance' place in the 2008 Tigers team and responded in style with improved performance both home and away as he steadily improved his average and was voted 'Rider of the Year' by the Sheffield track staff (again!)

Current average from official fixtures = 5.69

Surf over to Paul's website [] surf to

photograph by:Geoff Ridsdale Fastest time at Owlerton in 2007:61.7 August 30
Fastest time at Owlerton in 2008: 59.9  October 9
Highest scores: Home 14+1 Redcar (PL) Away 14+2 Mildenhall (PL)
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Kyle Hughes
Kyle Hughes Born: BathSomerset15th June1989
Opening CMA May CMAJune CMAJuly CMAAug CMASep CMAOct CMA
- - 3.00 3.00 3.00 3.00 3.00

Kyle joined the Tigers in June to replace struggling Sam Martin. He guested for us against Birmingham in the Premier Trophy semi-final scoring 1 at Perry Barr and 3+1 at Owlerton which was enough to persuade the Tigers management to negotiate with Coventry to sign him on loan for the remainder of the season. Kyle continues to ride for the Plymouth Devils at Conference League level.

Follow this link to Kyle's website [] link to

Current average from official fixtures = 1.62

photograph by: Geoff Ridsdale Fastest time at Owlerton in 2007:n/a 
Fastest time at Owlerton in 2008: n/a  
Highest scores: Home 5+2

Newcastle (PL)

Away 4+1

Redcar (PL)

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Sam Martin
Sam Martin Born: AdelaideSouthern Australia8th February1989
Opening CMA May CMAJune CMAJuly CMAAug CMASep CMAOct CMA
3.00  3.00  3.00 -  - -  -

 Sam joins us for the 2008 season on loan from his parent club Reading. Son of Mark Martin who rode for Canterbury in the early 80's Sam has been riding in Britain for the last four seasons. He joined Oxford's Conference side as a fifteen year-old in 2004, and helped them to a Championship win in 2005. He joined Boston in 2006 and finished the season with a much improved average. Sam made his debut for the Tigers in the away match at Newport guesting for Benji Compton and picked up 2 points in the Tigers narrow defeat.

Last year Sam was back with the troubled Oxford team, upping his average yet again and helping the Cheetahs to the Play-off final where they lost to the all conquering Scunthorpe Scorpions. Sam also rode in the Premier League as a guest for both Edinburgh and the Isle of Wight before replacing Benji Compton (again) in the Berwick team for whom he made 19 appearances, top scoring with 5 (paid 6) away at King's Lynn.

Sam took a tumble riding for the Scunthorpe Saints in the Conference league towards the end of May causing him to miss a few meetings. He lost his team place to Kyle Hughes while he was out of action and soon after announced his intention to return home to Australia.

Current average from official fixtures = 1.92

photograph by: Geoff Ridsdale Fastest time at Owlerton in 2007n/a 
Fastest time at Owlerton in 2008 65.1  April 24
Highest scores: Home 5+1 v Isle of Wight (KO) Away 4+1 v Scunthorpe (KO)
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Joel Parsons
Joel Parsons Born: Broken HillNew South Wales, Australia24th July1985
Opening CMA May CMAJune CMAJuly CMAAug CMASep CMAOct CMA
5.96 6.96  6.57  6.28 5.85 6.26 6.08

Joel is steeped in the sport. His father was mechanic to Phil Crump and Joel's first bike was bought from Ivan Mauger!

He was first invited over to the UK in 2003 and rode for Rye House in the Conference League, and Reading in the Premier League. He was a member of the championship winning Hull Vikings team in 2004 and only left them after they closed at the end of 2005.

The 2006 season saw Joel put more than a point on his average riding for the Newport Wasps and Sheffield (who own his contract) were very keen to include him in the Tigers line-up for the 2007 season. Joel put more than 1.5 points on his average despite riding for most of the season in the no.5 heat leaders position, (a far cry from the Newport reserve berth) and he endeared himself to the home fans with his tenacity as he raced every heat all the way to the chequered flag.

Joel started the 2008 season like he was on fire but blew his best engine at Scunthorpe and never looked quite as sharp after that.

Current average from official fixtures = 6.08

photograph by: Geoff Ridsdale Fastest time at Owlerton in 2007:62.0 August 9
Fastest time at Owlerton in 2008: 61.0  August 14
Highest scores: Home 14+1 v Reading (PL) Away 13+2 (max) Mildenhall (PL)
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Lee Smethills
Lee Smethills Born: Bolton Lancashire30th March1982
Opening CMA May CMAJune CMAJuly CMAAug CMASep CMAOct CMA
 3.30  5.38 5.38 5.38 5.04 5.55 5.40

Lee first rode for Sheffield in the Youth Development League alongside Karl Bagshawe and Adam Allott. He's an all round sportsman, three times British Schoolboy Cycle Speedway champion, rode for the English European Team and was a useful cross country runner at regional level. His fitness would certainly have helped in seasons 2002, when he rode in all of Hulls 50 meetings, and in 2003 when he completed a similar feat at Exeter in their 48 meetings. His cosmopolitan list of previous clubs includes Sheffield, Mildenhall, Buxton, Rye House, Belle Vue, Workington, Newcastle, Hull, Exeter, Berwick, Wolverhampton, Glasgow and Oxford at various levels.

Currently a Newcastle asset, Lee started 2006 at Berwick but despite upping his average by almost a point he was sacrificed when they brought in Jacek Rempala. Lee also had a handful of meetings as reserve for Elite League Wolverhampton early in 2006, and then a short spell replacing Ross Brady at Rye House pending Stuart Robson's return from injury. Last season saw Lee lining up as a Tiger, north of the border in Glasgow, but he lost his place to Michael Coles in June after a poor run of form. He rediscovered his appetite for racing in his short spell with Oxford in the Conference League.

Lee started the season well but hurt his foot when tumbling after the finish of heat 12 against Stoke (trying all the way to the finish line) causing him to miss the next four matches. He is currently out of the saddle following a fall at Mildenhall where he cracked a vertebra.

Lee finished the season on the injured list following a three man crash in the end-of-season challenge against the Owlerton 'Outlaws'. Lee suffered a badly broken collar bone and was scheduled to have surgery on it.

Current average from official fixtures = 5.40

photograph by: Geoff Ridsdale Fastest time at Owlerton in 2007:63.3 May 24
Fastest time at Owlerton in 2008: 61.0  June 5 & 12
Highest scores: Home 11 v Birmingham (PT s/f) Away 8+3 v Berwick (PL)
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Ben Wilson
Ben Wilson Born: SheffieldSouth Yorkshire15th March1986
Opening CMA May CMAJune CMAJuly CMAAug CMASep CMAOct CMA
6.71  6.67 6.61 7.16  7.12 6.54 6.56

Grandson of Roy Wilson who ran the Sheffield training track. Ben joined the Prowlers on his 15th birthday in March 2001. On his debut at Peterborough Ben went to the tapes for his first official race and sped to a dream win.

Ben got the nod to start the 2003 season wearing the Tigers No.7 jacket. He kept his place the following season and after a slow start to 2004 Ben was showing some real form when he crashed in the 75th Anniversary meeting at Owlerton. He recovered to qualify from the British U21 final at Rye House, but on a rain soaked track at Rawicz in Poland he could only muster 6 points ending his World Championship aspirations for the year.

Ben made the transition to second-string for the 2005 campaign and continued to improve his average. His form didn't go un-noticed and Chris Van Straatan was happy to offer Ben the chance to double-up with Elite League Wolverhampton in 2006. He became British U21 Champion at King's Lynn qualifying directly to the final and keeping his nerve to win the title ahead of Daniel King and Lewis Bridger after Steve Boxall fell. He was rewarded by being named as reserve for the British Grand Prix at Cardiff.

Ben stepped up to the third heat-leader role for the Tigers in 2007, but rode most of the year in the no.2 jacket coupled with Ricky. Despite this Ben failed to improve his average for the first time, mainly due to some disappointing away performances.

Ben rode as third heat leader for the Tigers in 2008 but came under pressure from Joel Parsons for third place in the averages and announced his decision to move on to another team as he felt he needed a new challenge.

Visit Ben's new website; []

Current average from official fixtures = 6.56

photograph by: Geoff Ridsdale Fastest time at Owlerton in 2007:60.0 June 7
Fastest time at Owlerton in 2008: 61.0  June 5
Highest scores: Home 14 v Reading (PL) Away 14 Scunthorpe (PL)
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