Captain Doug (right) with Bert Harkins in 1964 Image Credit: Drew McLaren

Doug Templeton, sixties skipper, has passed away

NEWS Sunday 22nd December 2019, 7:40pm

by Mike Hunter

  Edinburgh Monarchs

Doug Templeton, one of the greatest figures in Edinburgh and Scottish Speedway history, passed away yesterday at the age of 91. He captained the Monarchs for ten years and was the rock which our sixties team was built on.

Doug had not been well for some time but it was a great pleasure to welcome him to our 70th Anniversary meeting in 2018, the last time he was able to attend Armadale.

To do justice to Doug's career would really take a book rather than a web page but his first racing experience was on Scottish grasstracks, and after a recommendation from Larry Lazarus he was given a chance by Ian Hoskins, then promoter of Glasgow Tigers in 1953.

He improved quickly enough to do well for Scotland against New Zealand in his debut season, but with the Tigers closing after two home matches in 1954 he was trackless until turning out a few times for Motherwell late in that season. Then they closed too.

Motherwell returned in 1958 for a series of meetings at intermediate level and Doug was chosen as the captain. The team that turned out was in the main the one which lined up for the Edinburgh Monarchs on their return to the sport in 1960, including of course Doug's brother Willie.

He captained the Monarchs and retained that position through the 8 sixties' seasons at Meadowbank and two at Coatbridge, until resigning his role during 1969 and passing the baton to Bert Harkins. Doug was one of the dominant riders in the Provincial League 1960-64 alongside team mate George Hunter, Ivor Brown, Ivan Mauger, Charlie Monk and others. Thrilling days which were the foundation of so many supporters' love for speedway.

After Monarchs were forced out of the sport Doug did sterling work for Glasgow, Berwick and Coatbridge until he retired in 1976.

He was a tough rider, described as a "chunk of Scottish granite" and an inspirational one to team mates and fans. He won the Scottish Open Championship in 1960 and 1962 and rode with distinction in Test matches for Scotland and for Britain v Overseas.

Many supporters will have known Doug personally, as friendly off track as he was competitive on it. He lost his wife Margaret, also a highly respected person in Speedway circles, fairly recently. We believe Doug had been the oldest surviving Monarch, born 18th June 1928.

Doug's funeral will be on Wednesday 8th January at 12 midday, at Culross Abbey, then 1pm at the cemetary. All invited by the family, family flowers only please.