Rob Lyon has begun a new chapter at the King’s Lynn Stars speedway side after a successful dozen years as team boss.
Lyon is taking on the day-to-day business at the Adrian Flux Arena following an overhaul at the club and for now is leaving team management – but is happy to reminisce over some glorious years at Saddlebow Road stadium side.
Since running the roost over the riders in 2005 he has won 10 trophies, including two league titles.
He picks out the treble-winning season of the following year as the highlight of that period.
The Stars dominated the Premier League era they were stationed in, which led to their return to the Elite League in 2011, where Lyon has guided his troops to the play-offs, but a league championship has thus far eluded the team.
On his reign as team boss, Lyon commented: “The year 2006 was probably my standout season for me overall.
“We did a treble of league, Knockout Cup and Premier League Trophy. In 2005 we did the KO Cup and Young Shield, while in 2009 we did the treble again of league, KO Cup and Premier League Trophy.
“There were ten trophies in all. Also in that time we got to the promotion/relegation play-off final, but 2006 will be the most memorable one, I’d say.”
The Knockout Cup was almost a permanent fixture in the Lynn cabinet with the Stars winning it four times between 2005 and 2009.
But for Lyon, it is time to move on and attempt to raise the Stars to new heights in the revamped SGB Premiership era, as agreed in the sport’s recent annual meeting presided over by Lynn supremo and chairman of the British Speedway Promoters Association Keith ‘Buster’ Chapman.
Lyon agreed taking on this new role has given him extra motivation, adding: “It’s a different type of challenge. There is more responsibility, obviously, but one I’m looking forward to.”
He said he needed the switch after 12 years managing the team: “I think I had got stale. I was certainly ready for the challenge. If I am really honest, I did one year too many.
“I did another season, I committed to doing it, but I’m certainly ready to move on and do something different.”
Speedway has been accused as a whole of not peering at the bigger picture and being riddled with self-interest among the individual promoters, who are popularly painted as looking after themselves rather than the well-being of the sport.
However Lyon – who will represent the club at future AGM’s – was “pleasantly surprised” at the outcome of this winter’s momentous meeting, where Elite and Premier Leagues were brought closer together and rebranded as SGB Premiership and SBG Championship respectively.
He said: “I was surprised, and pleasantly surprised, how the AGM went.
“There was a lot of open discussion and honesty in the room. There was very frank discussion at times.
“I think we’ve had some brave decisions.
“They are not going to please everyone – you never will – but ultimately within a sort of a three to five-year plan of where we get from here.
“It’s the start of something that we need to build a base on and try and rebuild the brand and rebuild British Speedway.
“For far too long now we’ve sort of worked around top riders in particular and their schedules, and we have got to consolidate and make it a sustainable league to promote and run it.”