Is this the final curtain call for the Bandits at Shielfield?

Berwick Bandits v Edinburgh Monarchs at Shielfield Park (live on sky)'heat 9'Heat nine rerun after 'unsatisfactory start'
Berwick Bandits v Edinburgh Monarchs at Shielfield Park (live on sky)'heat 9'Heat nine rerun after 'unsatisfactory start'

The curtain comes down on Berwick’s troubled season at home when the Bandits race against Rye House at Shielfield on Saturday.

The Borderers, who also face Plymouth (away) on Friday, still have an outstanding away fixture at Edinburgh, after last Friday’s meeting was called off shortly before tapes up.

They still have the British U19 final to come the following weekend (September 12), but in view of the club’s current situation, many fans are wondering if this will be the last time they see their beloved Bandits in action on their own track.

The club, like a few others around the country, have been struggling to make ends meet, and only recently they expressed their concerns by announcing the need for a ‘makeover or takeover’ at the end of the season.

Promoter John Anderson revealed that they were looking for further investment or help, or face the real possibility of closure. So far there has been no definite news on any interested parties and as a result some fans are now fearing the worst – a year before the club is due to celebrate its 50th anniversary.

On Saturday, Anderson said: “Will there be speedway here next year? – that’s a question I honestly cannot answer.

“ I can understand the supporters’ concerns, because there is still a lot of uncertainty. All I can say at this stage is that I will be doing everything I possibly can to try and keep speedway at Shielfield Park next season.

“It’s not easy running a speedway club, not only from the vast amount of work that needs to be done behind the scenes, but the financial implications as well.

“This year we have also had an awful season injury wise, and that hasn’t helped.

“We haven’t had any flow with the team, results have been poor and that obviously has an effect on the crowds.

“It’s tough, but I have been a speedway fan myself for a long time now and I want to see this club survive, not least because next year is our 50th, which is a milestone.”

The bikes first roared into Shielfield Park in 1967, the brainchild of original owners Danny and Elizabeth Taylor, who came from Jedburgh.

They hit on the nickname of the Bandits from a biscuit of the same name.

Over the past 49 years the club has been part and parcel of the sporting bedrock in the region, attracting supporters from Berwick and the surrounding districts.

For hundreds of people it has been a staple part of their Saturday night diet.

If this is to be their final curtain call they would most surely like to go out on a winning note and they are urging fans to get behind the team and show that the sport still has a future.