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Happy birthday Jock and Harry!

NEWS Tuesday 29th September 2020, 12:00pm

by Mike Hunter

Edinburgh Monarchs enjoy a very unusual double celebration today when two of their riders, a duo who often rode as the team's reserve pairing, reach another birthday.

Jock Scott, 92 on Tuesday, is believed to be the oldest surviving Monarchs' rider while youngster Harry Darling reaches 90 on the same day.

It is a great shame that due to the current situation they won't be able to reunite at Armadale as was originally planned. Both Jock and Harry were last at the track during the club's 70th Anniversary celebrations in 2018 and both were also at the Anniversary Show held at Tynecastle, speaking about their time as Monarchs' riders.

Jock Scott made his Monarchs' debut on 28th April 1952 away at Poole, and rode for the team 43 times including their last team match against Exeter in 1954 prior to the track closing. Harry's debut was on 28th March 1952 away at Motherwell and he rode 71 times, his final match being at home on 17th April 1954.

Both recall with particular fondness the match on 28th June 1952, a Scottish Cup semi-final against Glasgow in which the team struggled disastrously in the early stages, 15-33 behind after 8 heats.

They fought back but were still 10 points down at heat 13 with just 5 heats left. Harry and Jock were together in this one and pulled off a 5-1 against Len Nicholson and Stuart Irvine, which set the Monarchs on their way to an eventual 56-52 victory.

Harry is a former Scottish Junior Champion having won the title at Ashfield in 1951.

After speedway Harry was a farmer (swapping his speedway frame for the Meadowbank tractor) and later ran his coach hire business. Jock drove lorries and then went into the sawmilling trade. Not stars, but two great club men who we salute on their joint birthday.