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‘Speedway will never be forgotten in the city’
9:00am Monday 16th September 2013 in News
Doubts over speedway’s return to Bradford might linger, but a charity is helping to ensure the sport’s contribution in the city is not forgotten.
The Joshua Project, based in Great Horton, will name a classroom at its My Impact Centre complex in honour of three-time world speedway champion Erik Gundersen.
The former Danish number one retained his world title at Odsal in the 1985 world final, but four years later – on September 17 1989 – he almost lost his life in a horrific four-rider crash during heat one of the World Team Cup final at the same stadium.
He managed to walk out of Pinderfields Hospital and, in his own words, begin his “second life”. He is now employed by the Danish Motor Union and is a guiding light for young riders.
Rich Jones, chief executive of the Joshua Project, said: “I am delighted Erik is honoured to be associated with our work and help be an inspiration and example to the young people we mentor and help each day.
“It is also pleasing to recognise the cosmopolitan nature of speedway in Bradford and for Erik to represent all the riders who proudly wore a Bradford race jacket, be they from England or abroad.”
Mr Gundersen is the only rider to hold all four world championships in one season – individual, long track, pairs and team. He also has the distinction of being the Wembley track record holder, something he achieved during the 1981 world final during a meeting that brought speedway’s long history at the stadium to a close. The Joshua Project encourages young people to keep active and be good citizens.
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