Bradford Telegraph and ArgusSpeedway fan calls for sport’s place in Odsal mural (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)

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Bradford campaigner wants speedway role in Bradford’s history recognised

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Speedway legend Gary Havelock Speedway legend Gary Havelock

A speedway fan is calling for the sport to be included in a subway mural near Odsal Stadium in Bradford.

John Murphy wants recognition for the sport he said provided “fabulous entertainment for thousands” in the city over the years.

His plea comes after seeing Bradford City artwork in subways near Jacobs Well and hearing of plans for Bradford Bulls murals near Odsal.

Mr Murphy said: “If the subways next to Odsal are going to have murals relating to the area, speedway must have a place.

“As long as the track still physically exists inside the stadium, the spirit of the sport can easily live on outside the stadium. And what a unique way for Bradford to do something that doesn’t exist anywhere else in speedway, to my knowledge.”

Mr Murphy suggested an artwork featuring Bradford speedway legend Gary Havelock, as well as two other faces synonymous with Odsal.

“My suggestion for a speedway mural is the faces of Erik Gundersen, 1985 Odsal winner, Per Jonsson, 1990 Odsal winner, with the face of Bradford captain and 1990 World Champion Gary Havelock in the middle.

“Other detail could be added but in that image we have a wonderful, cosmopolitan image – Erik from Denmark, Per from Sweden, Gary from England. “There is extra poignancy in the fact Gundersen and Jonsson suffered serious injury in later years and brought their glittering careers to a harsh end.”

Councillor Andrew Thornton backed Mr Murphy’s campaign.

He said: “I agree some recognition is appropriate. They are planning something up there, planning to repaint, but I’m not sure where they are with the design. It’s in the very early stages.”

He added: “I believe speedway has got some merit to be included there. Clearly there is a history there, and some recognition up there would be quite good.”

Coun Thornton also said: “Some of the streets on the new development that is happening next to the stadium are being named after speedway riders.”

Mr Murphy added: “Whether speedway runs in Bradford or not, one thing will never change – our city played its part for many years in providing fabulous entertainment for thousands of Bradford speedway followers, over three generations.

“Many of those people still live in Bradford and how wonderful it would be for the Council to say ‘yes, we remember you and here is our way of ensuring the place of speedway, along with football and rugby, is respected as something that brought prestige to the city’.”

Comments (5)

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11:41am Mon 12 May 14

Scouse bantam says...

What a good idea. The council ploughed money into Odsal to stage the World Final and put Bradford on the international speedway map. This was followed by the move from Halifax which brought the Dukes to the new base at Bradford and seasons of success. But we should not forget the previous teams which made Odsal their speedway home. Odsal Stadium saw some fantastic racing over the years and also some sad times which come with any form of motorsport. As there does not seem to be any chance of the sport returning why not keep the thoughts alive.
What a good idea. The council ploughed money into Odsal to stage the World Final and put Bradford on the international speedway map. This was followed by the move from Halifax which brought the Dukes to the new base at Bradford and seasons of success. But we should not forget the previous teams which made Odsal their speedway home. Odsal Stadium saw some fantastic racing over the years and also some sad times which come with any form of motorsport. As there does not seem to be any chance of the sport returning why not keep the thoughts alive. Scouse bantam
  • Score: 1

2:36pm Mon 12 May 14

theoutsider says...

John great idea - Speedway rightly has its place in the history of Odsal Stadium and Bradford despite the considerable efforts to 'air brush it out' and the total lack of effort by the present incumbants at Odsal to make sure its not 'just history'. Agree Havvy should be on the art work; but as great a World Champs Gundersen and Jonsson were they're nothing to do with Bradford!. The two riders that MUST go alongside Havvy are OLIVER HART (40's-50's) and GARY PETERSON (1970). I am not just telling you I am INSISTING and believe me I know.
John great idea - Speedway rightly has its place in the history of Odsal Stadium and Bradford despite the considerable efforts to 'air brush it out' and the total lack of effort by the present incumbants at Odsal to make sure its not 'just history'. Agree Havvy should be on the art work; but as great a World Champs Gundersen and Jonsson were they're nothing to do with Bradford!. The two riders that MUST go alongside Havvy are OLIVER HART (40's-50's) and GARY PETERSON (1970). I am not just telling you I am INSISTING and believe me I know. theoutsider
  • Score: 0

10:07pm Mon 12 May 14

alive and awake says...

Scouse bantam wrote:
What a good idea. The council ploughed money into Odsal to stage the World Final and put Bradford on the international speedway map. This was followed by the move from Halifax which brought the Dukes to the new base at Bradford and seasons of success. But we should not forget the previous teams which made Odsal their speedway home. Odsal Stadium saw some fantastic racing over the years and also some sad times which come with any form of motorsport. As there does not seem to be any chance of the sport returning why not keep the thoughts alive.
Of course it should be included, along with stock car racing, boxing, wrestling, cricket, football, and any other event that has graced that wonderful stadium.
[quote][p][bold]Scouse bantam[/bold] wrote: What a good idea. The council ploughed money into Odsal to stage the World Final and put Bradford on the international speedway map. This was followed by the move from Halifax which brought the Dukes to the new base at Bradford and seasons of success. But we should not forget the previous teams which made Odsal their speedway home. Odsal Stadium saw some fantastic racing over the years and also some sad times which come with any form of motorsport. As there does not seem to be any chance of the sport returning why not keep the thoughts alive.[/p][/quote]Of course it should be included, along with stock car racing, boxing, wrestling, cricket, football, and any other event that has graced that wonderful stadium. alive and awake
  • Score: 0

10:34pm Mon 12 May 14

Bev says...

Does anyone else remember Arthur Wright and Arthur Forest who were almost unbeatable in the early fifties or the visiting Howdy Byford singing'secret love' unaccompanied on one of those heady Saturday nights?
Does anyone else remember Arthur Wright and Arthur Forest who were almost unbeatable in the early fifties or the visiting Howdy Byford singing'secret love' unaccompanied on one of those heady Saturday nights? Bev
  • Score: 0

3:19pm Mon 19 May 14

emerald tyke says...

Brilliant idea John, Speedway history has a right to be included should this mural happen. Many people are constantly trying to sweep the shale sport under the carpet but they cannot dispel something that actually happened and brought success to Bradford on the World stage via tv. Its just a pity the powers that be now connected with Odsal ( and also as a sequel to what happened at Wembley too!!) that Speedway kept your stadiums viable when you needed us and now speedway/stockcars needs you to give it a home again in Bradford...the track basis is there only to work together to make it happen for the many motorsports fans in the area. Not everyone loves watching an air filled bag being kicked around a pitch!!
Brilliant idea John, Speedway history has a right to be included should this mural happen. Many people are constantly trying to sweep the shale sport under the carpet but they cannot dispel something that actually happened and brought success to Bradford on the World stage via tv. Its just a pity the powers that be now connected with Odsal ( and also as a sequel to what happened at Wembley too!!) that Speedway kept your stadiums viable when you needed us and now speedway/stockcars needs you to give it a home again in Bradford...the track basis is there only to work together to make it happen for the many motorsports fans in the area. Not everyone loves watching an air filled bag being kicked around a pitch!! emerald tyke
  • Score: 0

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