Wembley Lions
Page updated 25-Dec-2010

The stadium was originally constructed as the centrepiece for the British Empire Exhibition, which was staged soon after the end of the First World War. The innovative structure was finished in time to stage the famous 1923 FA Cup final. However, the British Empire Exhibition lost money and the stadium closed down in October 1925.

Arthur Elvin purchased the stadium from the official receiver and became managing director of Wembley Stadium Ltd. Under Elvin's guidance, greyhound racing was first staged in December 1927 and he then wanted to stage dirt-track racing at the super stadium. He appointed Johnnie Hoskins as manager, with the first meeting going ahead on 16 May 1929. Wembley staged the Star Championship Final from 1930 to 1935 - the forerunner to the World Championship.

In 1932 Wembley also took part in the National Speedway Association Trophy, which was held prior to the National League Championship. In 1934 Wembley operated two teams, one in the National League, and the other in the Reserve League. Johnnie Hoskins departed to run West Ham in 1935, with Alec Jackson taking over the reigns as speedway manager.

The first ever World Championship Final was held at Wembley on 10 September 1936, when Lionel Van Praag emerged victorious.

Gus Kuhn joined the Wembley Reserves late in the 1937 season, but left in August of the following year to become Captain of the newly formed Lea Bridge Second Division team.

The final pre-war meeting at the venue saw Wembley beat Southampton in a National Trophy match on 31 August. The last ever meeting at the stadium took place on 5 September 1981.

Thanks to 'Homes of British Speedway' by Robert Bamford & John Jarvis, 2001, ISBN 0752422103