Ken ‘hurri-ken’ McKinlay 1928-2003
Scotland’s greatest ever Speedway rider, (Ken ) McKinlay 1928- 2003 known as “Hurri-Ken”
Probably one of the most successful overseas riders to come to Australia and do well. Ken rode in many tests in Oz and even won the 1964 Australian Solo Title at the Sydney Showground Speedway. Ken toured Australia over the years winning the Victorian Solo Title in 1959 and 1960, the South Australian Solo Title in 1957, the Queensland Solo Title in 1964 and the NSW Title in 1960. ( That was when overseas riders could ride in State and National titles in Oz.)
KEN McKINLAY Such a slow developer – yet, after he moved on, what a superb career! At the club from 1948, it took over a year for “Hurri-Ken” (oh, these Hoskinisms!) to get a run at reserve – usually alternating for last place with Alf McIntosh – and didn’t really get into the team proper until 1950.
Another three seasons took Ken to the third heat-leader’s spot in Coronation year, and sadly – in the year he was at last installed as Glasgow’s No 1 – the club folded after just three meetings in ’54! So on he went, to Leicester, Coventry, West Ham and greatness. Had the club, and the sport prospered in the ’50’s, who knows – “Auld Mac” (as we knew him in later years) could have stayed to become the Greatest Tiger Of Them All.
Sent in by Ishbel McKinlay-Wilkie
How I began – Ken McKinlay
A simple notice on Regimental Orders started it all
for 19012199 Pte. McKinlay. K. A notice that said that with effect from August 15, 1947, Gordon Highlander Ken was transferred to the Royal Signals at Schleswig-Holsteln for a Despatch Riders’ course…
John Robert Vickers (Ken) McKinlay
(7 June 1928 Blantyre, Scotland – 9 February 2003 Leicester, England) was an international speedway rider, captaining Scotland, England, Great Britain and Europe teams. He also finished on the rostrum of the British Speedway Championship finals twice, second in 1964 and third in 1965.
John Robert Vickers (Ken) McKinlay (7 June 1928 Blantyre, Scotland – 9 February 2003 Leicester, England) was an international speedway rider, captaining Scotland, England, Great Britain and Europe teams. He also finished on the rostrum of the British Speedway Championship finals twice, second in 1964 and third in 1965. His nickname Hurri-Ken was given to him by famous speedway promoter Johnnie Hoskins.His nickname Hurri-Ken was given to him by famous speedway promoter Johnnie Hoskins.
McKinlay took up speedway while serving with the British Army in Germany, riding for the Neuminster forces team. He went on to captain the team and finished in joint sixth place in the 1948 Combined Services Speedway Championship. On his return to Britain, he started his career with the Glasgow Tigers in 1949 and had five successful seasons there. However in 1954 the track closed and Ken transferred to the Leicester Hunters for a club record fee. He spent eight seasons with the Hunters, moving up with them into the First Division in 1957, and averaging close to 11 points in the 1958 and 1959 seasons. A spell with the Coventry Bees followed after Leicester dropped down to the Provincial League.
When the British League was formed in 1965 Ken was allocated to the West Ham Hammers, and as captain led them to winning the 1965 treble of League Championship, KO Cup and London KO Cup trophies. He was renowned for his team-riding with younger riders and his contribution throughout his five season with the Hammers was immeasurable.
1970 saw him return to the Coventry Bees for one season before he moved to the Oxford Cheetahs for a further two seasons. Ken considered retirement but in 1973 he was approached by the management of the Scunthorpe Saints to become rider/coach of the second division side. He stayed with the Saints for three seasons before retiring in 1975 aged forty-seven.
While still a Second Division rider with Leicester he rode for England in the 1955 Test series against Australasia, top scoring for England in the third test with 11 points, and going on to represent England regularly until the early 1970s.
Ken McKinlay was also a success when he ventured to Australia to race in the late 1950s and through the 1960s, winning the Australian Individual Speedway Championship in 1964 at the 509m Sydney Showground Speedway. He placed third in 1967 at Adelaide’s Rowley Park Speedway and tied for second in 1969, again at the Sydney Showground.
Mckinlay was also successful in various Australian state championships. He won the South Australian Championship in 1957 at Rowley Park, the Victorian Championship in 1959 and again in 1961 as well as the NSW championship at the Showground in 1960. He also traveled to Brisbane to win the Queensland championship in 1964 at the Brisbane Exhibition Ground and in 1966 he traveled to Australia’s west coast where he won the Western Australian championship at Perth’s 550m Claremont Speedway.
Ken had two short spells as team managers of Scunthorpe and Long Eaton. Ken died in 2003 aged seventy-five.
|Date of birth||June 7, 1928|
|Place of birth||Blantyre, Scotland|
|Date of death||9 February 2003 (aged 75)|
|Current club information|
West Ham Hammers
|Midland Riders’ Champion
SA State Champion (Aust)
Victorian State Champion (Aust)
NSW State Champion (Aust)
Queensland State Champion (Aust)
WA State Champion (Aust)
|1956, 1957, 1959
|British League Champions
British League KO Cup Winners
London KO Cup Winners
Source: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Bob Wilson Scottish Speedway Through The Years
How I Began by Ken McKinlay
Displayed with kind permission from The John Somerville Collection
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