Peterborough Panthers’ ‘Dad’s Army’ captain will be racing again next season at the age of 44
Peterborough Panthers skipper Scott Nicholls is determined to savour a ‘special occasion’ after the club’s Grand Final success over Belle Vue...but at even at the age of 43 he hasn’t finished racing yet!
Nicholls was one of three signings over the age of 40 made by Panthers before the season started- hence the ‘Dad’s Army’ tag - and the seven-time British champion showed he still retained skill, class and speed in a fabulous personal campaign.
Fittingly it was his thrilling Heat 14 win which secured a first Panthers title at the top level since 2006. Nicholls flew past visiting reserve Tom Brennan on the final bend to ensure his side were uncatchable. His teammates immediately pounced to give Nicholls the customary ‘bumps.’
“This was a special occasion,” Nicholls enthused. “To win the title after two fantastic play-off semi-final meetings and then two Grand Final meetings which were even better is a great thrill.
“It’s why we keep racing. The feeling of euphoria is always the same, but this has been a special season with these teammates.
“Halfway through the first leg (Panthers were 10 points behind with four heats to go) it looked like the writing was on the wall for us, but we refocused and fought back as we had all season. Before the second leg we were in constant touch firing each other up to make sure we got the job done.
“It was an honour and a privilege to be captain, but really we had seven captains.
“And what a great advert for British speedway the play-offs were and to clinch the title in front of our own fans was incredible. I’ve rarely seen a crowd like the one we had at home. They gave us a great lift and I look forward to coming again next season!”
But for fellow 43 year-old Bjarne Pedersen it’s all over - he has retired.
“What a way to bow out,” Pedersen said. “I couldn’t have asked for any more. I was delighted to sign for this club when I saw the team they had put together with Rob Lyon as manager. You never really know how it’s going to pan out, but the team spirit has been excellent and we really worked well as a team.”
Michael Palm Toft, who rode brilliantly throughout the play-offs despite two broken fingers, Hans Andersen, who missed the Grand Final second leg because of concussion, the always entertaining Chris ‘Bomber’ Harris, rising star Jordan Palin and Ulrich Ostergaard, who was ruled out for the season two months ago, made up the Panthers regular line-up. Lewis Kerr and Craig Cook guested for the club in the play-offs.