Meet the SHEFFIELD 'Tigers' 2024

Team photo
Josh Pickering, Dan Gilkes, Jason Edwards, Chris Holder, Simon Stead
kneeling
Kyle Howarth, Tai Woffinden, Jack Holder

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Jason Edwards
Jason Edwards Born: Billericay Essex 14 September 2002
April GS May June July Aug Sep Oct
3.00 3.00 3.00 3.00

Jason first rode for Eastbourne in 2018 helping them to win both K.O.Cup and League titles. He joined Mildenhall in 2019 and also Plymouth in 2021.

He became the rising star at King's Lynn in 2022 with Championship appearances for Redcar and showed his liking for Owlerton in May this year winning heat 4 of the Stars match ahead of Tobiasz Musielak! Jason lost his place in the Stars team to Anders Rowe in June but recently scored 10 including two race wins in Redcar's away win at Plymouth.

Jason joined the Tigers to replace Dan Gilkes who suffered a broken wrist in a crash at Peterborough towards the end of the 2023 season. His first appearance for the Tigers was as a guest at Leicester when he recorded 2 race wins in our glorious away win and he went on to score vital points helping us to the Championship victory.

Current average from official fixtures in 2024 = 3.27

photograph by: Geoff Ridsdale Fastest times at Owlerton in 2024: 62.85   27 June
in 2023: 62.75   25 May
Highest scores: Home 6+2 King's Lynn P2 Away 5+1 Leicester P1
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Daniel Gilkes
Dan Gilkes Born: Northampton Northamptonshire 21st May 2002
April GS May June July Aug Sept Oct
3.67 RS 2.91 RS 3.56 RS 3.61 RS  

Dan first rode for Kent in 2019. He appeared in both leagues for the Kings and Royals in 2021 before joining the Plymouth Gladiators in 2022. He rode four meetings in the Championship before picking up a serious injury at Scunthorpe.

Riding at reserve in his four meetings, two at home and away at Redcar and Scunthorpe he scored 34 points (plus 4 bonus) from 22 rides giving him a 6.91 average (6.18 excluding bonus points). Not bad for a reserve.

Plymouth being one of the smallest tracks in the country Dan might find Owlerton a bit of a handful but I'm sure the home fans will get right behind him!

Dan's 2023 season came to an abrupt halt in a clash with Jordan Jenkins at Peterborough in August when he suffered a broken wrist.

Official meetings average from 2024 = 2.97

photograph by: Geoff Ridsdale Fastest times at Owlerton in 2024: 62.52   20 June
in 2023: 62.02   25 May
Highest scores: Home 7+2 King's Lynn P1 Away 4 Ipswich P1
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Christopher Robert Holder
Chris Holder Born: Appin, Sydney New South Wales, Australia 24 Sept 1987
April GS May June July Aug Sept Oct
*7.16 7.13 7.83 8.19

Elder brother of Jack, Chris was World Champion back in 2012. His first British clubs were the Isle of Wight in 2006 and Oxford in 2007. He joined Poole in 2008 and rode for them for the following 9 years before joining King's Lynn in 2017.

Chris was Australian Champion in 2008, 10, 11, 12 and 14. Rode in the Grand Prix from 2010 to 2018 winning twice in Britain and won the Czech Golden Helmet in 2014.

With Adam Ellis struggling the Tigers looked to Chris to help them in the play-offs. After a poor performance in the play-off final first leg at Foxall Heath Chris top scored in the home leg beating Emil Sayfutdinov and then passing Jason Doyle in the final heat to overturn an 18 point deficit.

Chris has had a good start to the 24 season including being the only Tiger to take a point from Oxford super sub Craig Cook with a last lap pass.

Current average from official fixtures in 2024 = 8.47

Maximums: Full = 1 Home

photograph by: Geoff Ridsdale Fastest times at Owlerton in 2024: 60.81   20 June
in 2023: 61.33   11 September
Highest scores: Home 14 Leicester P1 Away 14 Oxford P2
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Jack Holder
Jack Holder Born: Appin New South Wales, Australia 23 March 1996
April GS May June July Aug Sept Oct
9.00 8.89 8.86 9.33

Brother of James and 2012 World Champion Chris, Jack first rode in Britain for Plymouth in 2015. He doubled up with Peterborough and Poole in 2017, moved to Somerset in 2018 and finished the 2019 season at the top of the Premiership with the Poole Pirates and second only to Brady Kurtz in their averages.

Jack had a good start to 2022 winning his 4th New South Wales Championship from Sam Masters, Josh Pickering and Ben Cook after suffering engine problems in his first ride at Kurri Kurri, and he returned to Polish Ekstraliga action with Torun.

With the Russian riders excluded from the Grand Prix series Jack was offered one of the places but has found the opposition quite tough finishing the series in 12th place. He won the GP qualifier at Debrecen in Hungary with a 15 point clean sweep, and claimed his 2023 GP place with a rostrum finish in Glasgow beating Max Fricke in a run-off.

After a disappointing 2023 Croatian GP Jack was set to win the Warsaw GP until the race was stopped. Freddy Lindgren won the rerun but Jack was a tremendous second ahead of the current world champion. He followed this with third place in the Czech GP, once again ahead of Bartosz Zmarzlik.

On the home front he lost the No.1 bib to Tobiasz in June but a run of maximums saw him reclaim it in July. Disaster then occurred in the World Team Cup final with Jack suffering a broken wrist. With guests at a premium Simon quickly invited Tai Woffinden to join the Tigers as cover.

Jack became the first contracted Sheffield rider to win a Grand Prix in Croatia. Not only that but it was also the first time brothers had become Grand Prix winners!

Current average from official fixtures in 2024 = 8.76

Maximums: Paid = 2 Home

photograph by: Geoff Ridsdale Fastest times at Owlerton in 2024: 58.92   30 May
in 2023: 60.37   6 April
Highest scores: Home 12+2 Belle Vue K.O.Cup Away 12+1 Leicester P1
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Kyle Howarth
Kyle Howarth Born: Ashton-under-Lyne Greater Manchester 11th February 1994
April GS May June July Aug Sept Oct
5.67 5.62 5.32 5.35

Kyle was an accomplished grass track and motocross competitor before turning his attention to amateur speedway in 2008. Queensland U21 State Champion in 2011 and 12 and British U21 champion in 2015, his previous clubs include Scunthorpe, Poole, Somerset, Edinburgh and Swindon and he become an important part of the Wolverhampton Elite league team.

Kyle first doubled down with the Tigers in 2016. He soon settled in at Owlerton and after solving some machine issues in mid-season he stepped up assuming the captaincy and inspired the Tigers into the play offs, and all the way through to the final despite his team mates dropping like flies around him.

A fantastic season 2017 saw Kyle steer us to Championship success and the Championship Pairs title with Lasse Bjerre. Having put an impressive 1.44 onto his average he replaced Josh Grajczonek as the Tigers No.1 for 2018 after a lengthy stand-off with Workington who held his contract. He defended his Pairs title in 2018 at Somerset with his close friend Charles Wright on the eve of the British Grand Prix but his average took a dip and he lost the no.1 jacket.

Captaining the Tigers again in 2019 Kyle missed the Somerset match after having an extraordinary drug test result while guesting for King's Lynn at Eastbourne at the end of June. This turned out to be a trace of the co-codamol he was given in hospital after dislocating his shoulder when he crashed in the British semi-final at Redcar.

When the Tigers elected to move up to the Premiership Kyle had to choose between Wolverhampton and Sheffield, and became the first name on the Tigers team sheet. He also rode for Leicester in the Championship and continued as Sheffield skipper in 2022 encouraging his team to the top of the league, just missing out to Belle Vue's augmented team for the Championship.

Kyle rode for Plymouth and Sheffield in 2023 finishing bottom with his Championship team and winning the Premiership with the Tigers.

Official meetings average from 2024 = 5.28

photograph by: Geoff Ridsdale Fastest times at Owlerton in 2024: 62.72   18 April
in 2023: 61.19   20 July
Highest scores: Home   9+1 Leicester P1 Away   8+3 Oxford P2
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Josh (Joshua) Pickering
Josh Pickering Born: Heddon Greta New South Wales, Australia 30th November 1996
Init GS May June July Aug Sept Oct
6.71 6.92 6.90 6.55

Josh has been riding for Edinburgh since 2017. He joined the Tigers in the Premiership mid-season 2021 to replace fellow Aussie Justin Sedgmen. Josh joined King's Lynn Stars in 2022 and finished the season with 7.45 average from 19 matches, and 7.20 away from home.

He picked up a shoulder injury in 2023 and while out of action lost his team place when the Stars signed Artem Laguta and Kye Thomson. He re-joined the Tigers as replacement for out of form David Bellego and quickly endeared himself to the Tigers fans with some scintillating racing. He scored 8 in the first playoff leg at Foxhall and 8+2 at home beating both Emil Sayfutdinov and Jason Doyle en-route to the Premiership Title.

Highlight of Josh's opening home fixture was defeating ex-Tigers No.1 Tobiasz Musielak in heat 9, but he also set the terraces alight with a fantastic last bend swoop around Maciej Janowski in the Oxford match.

Official meetings average from 2024 = 6.22

photograph by: Geoff Ridsdale Fastest times at Owlerton in 2024: 60.35   18 July
in 2023: 61.50   24 August
Highest scores: Home 11+2 King's Lynn P2 Away 10+1 Oxford P2
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Tai Woffinden
Tai Woffinden Born: Scunthorpe Lincolnshire 10th August 1990
Init GS May June July Aug Sept Oct
8.41 8.44 8.71 8.67

Tai is the son of former Sheffield and Scunthorpe favourite Rob Woffinden. Born in this country he lived in Australia from the age of three and was a product of the thriving Australian junior speedway set-up. His family returned to his home country to ride for his birth town Scunthorpe Scorpions in the Conference League and his progress was meteoric. Tai's debut for the 'Tigers' against the Redcar 'Bears' on his sixteenth birthday wasn't exactly a fairy tale as he failed to score in his three outings.

Tai rode for Len Silver at Rye House for 2 years winning both the British U18 and U21 Championships and the P.L.R.C. at Owlerton. Joining Wolverhampton in 2009 he helped them to win the League Championship and became British Champion in 2013, 14 and 15. He helped Wolverhampton to another League Championship in 2016 by which time he was established as a superstar with 11 Grand Prix wins and 3 World Championships in 2013, 2015 and 2018.

Tai's last appearance at Owlerton was the British semi-final 10 years ago which he won with a 15 point maximum on his way to the first of his British Championship titles. He has been absent from Britain since the Covid outbreak but has now been tempted back to join the 'Tigers' at the end of 2023 as cover for the injured Jack Holder.

After stellar performances at both Peterborough and Leicester Tai broke his hand crashing out of the Cardiff Grand Prix and watched the end of our Championship winning season from the sidelines.

Official meetings average from 2024 = 9.14

Maximums: Paid = 1 Home

photograph by: Geoff Ridsdale Fastest times at Owlerton in 2024: 61.16   18 April
in 2023: 60.44   24 August
Highest scores: Home 14 Ipswich P1 Away 15+1 Birmingham P1
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