Ex-Peterborough Panther puts TV career before a chance to ride for GB in the World Cup

Title-winning Panthers skipper Scott Nicholls. Photo: David Lowndes.Title-winning Panthers skipper Scott Nicholls. Photo: David Lowndes.
Title-winning Panthers skipper Scott Nicholls. Photo: David Lowndes.
​Former Peterborough Panthers’ skipper Scott Nicholls has turned down the chance of a shock World Cup comeback.

Nicholls (45), one of the stars of the Dad’s Army squad that won the Premiership title in 2021, dropped out of the top-flight this season.

But he’s been in such red-hot form with Championship side Oxford he was approached about making a return to the GB squad ahead of next week’s five-day World Cup tournament at Wroclaw.

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Joint GB boss Oliver Allen confirmed: “I asked Scott if he would be interested, but he’s not as he said he needs to look long term and concentrate on his television career.

“He said we should pick the team from people who ride regularly in Poland because it’s so different there and he has not been riding there regularly for five years. He doesn’t think he would be the best option.”

Nicholls will be back at the East of England Arena on Monday night (July 24) as the on-the-ground reporter and analyser for Panthers’ bottom of the table clash against King’s Lynn which will be screened live on Eurosport2.

And he will be travelling to Poland, but in a strictly non-riding role. He is part of the television crew covering all four World Cup meetings for live screening on either Eurosport or DiscoveryPlus all over the world.

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Great Britain take on the Czech Republic, Germany and Sweden in the opening round on Tuesday (July 25) with the winners going straight through to Saturday’s Final and the second and third into a play-off.

While there are no current Panthers riders in the tournament, a handful of old boys will be there. Chris Harris is on standby for GB.

Three-times World Champion Nicki Pedersen took over as Denmark’s new manager in the winter and has picked himself in the squad.

Other ex-Panthers in the initial squads include Australians Jack Holder and Rohan Tungate, Danes Michael Jepsen Jensen, Nicolai Klindt and Anders Thomsen and French star Mathieu Tresarrieu (France).

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The Lions co-bosses, Allen and Simon Stead both began their racing careers in the same Panthers side in 1997 and Allen (41) spent a total of six seasons with the Panthers while Stead (41) had three campaigns at Alwalton.

They were schoolboy friends and featured in the Panthers league-winning sides of 1997 and 1998.