Bullet Points: Greg … born to lead

Published on 11th March 2023
Author George Dodds

If ever there was a man destined to be a Berwick speedway skipper it is Greg Sam Andrew Blair.

Great, great grandson of the club’s founders Danny and Elizabeth Taylor, the Jedburgh-born entertainer supreme has been a tale of two careers, a decade apart.

After bursting onto the scene as a 16-year-old with the Cleveland Bays in 2006 the early part of that career was a story of eye-catching performances and equally spectacular crashes – at times his points’ haul  matched only by the weight of plaster of Paris on broken limbs.

He made his second tier debut for Redcar Bears in 2007 and made two guest appearances for the Bandits the following year before he was named in our 2009 line-up, only to pay the price for the team’s disappointing campaign, dropped after 18 meetings.

It was back to the National League with first Buxton and then the 2011 for the combined Sheffield and Scunthorpe team which would go on to lift the league title with a team which included the Worrall twins.

By the time that the Saints won the play-offs Greg was recovering from injuries picked up during their defeat at Stoke and announced plans to retire.

And that seemed to be that until the Covid pandemic of 2020 and brainstorming sessions among the Berwick owners and management which led to the decision that a team would be entered in the following year’s National Development League.

Built around the Bandits’ teenage reserve pairing of Leon Flint and Kyle Bickley and another local hero in Mason Watson what was needed was an experienced “old head” for the third heat leader role.

Which led to the second coming of Greg ready, as he explained to mikeman Dick Barrie, to call a halt to a decade of working, drinking and making babies and return to his first love, speedway. And the rest as they say is history as the entertainer supreme and his faithful sidekicks, dad Drew and cab companion Ollie, became the – usually smiling – face of our new team.

This year there’s a new look to the line-up and who better to lead the 2023 septet.

One thing for certain it will never be dull!

Pictures: Taz McDougall, Nia Martin and Keith Hamblin

George Dodds
George Dodds

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