Road name honour for Bradford speedway aces

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: John Murphy with Anthony Marlow and Jorgia Murphy holding the names of some of the streets John Murphy with Anthony Marlow and Jorgia Murphy holding the names of some of the streets

A speedway fanatic has got his perfect Christmas present – because four streets on a new housing development in Bradford will be named in honour of the sport in the city.

Peterson Court, Forrest Close, Dukes Avenue and Northern View will take pride of place in a Persimmon Homes development a stone’s throw from Odsal Stadium – where speedway enthralled fans until it disappeared in 1997.

And, with talks about the sport returning to Bradford hitting a brick wall, a delighted John Murphy – whose first trip to speedway was in 1972 – took solace when Bradford Council told him they had agreed to his street-naming idea.

Mr Murphy, 55, who praised Jayne Storr at the Council and Wyke councillors David Robinson, Sarah Ferriby and David Warburton for their help, said: “Once the Industrial Museum Speedway Exhibition was over, I brought away one amazing item – the visitors’ book.

“The comments that were left proved to me they were kindred spirits – the speedway they had seen in Bradford had lived with them and within them long after they no longer had the opportunity to see their sport live.

“Families were formed at Bradford speedway, young ones met as boy or girl, and years forward were married and became parents. Just like me!

“Bradford Council’s deep respect and honour in allowing speedway to live on through the names offered is such a wonderful tribute to everyone who supported Bradford speedway – the promoters, administrators, track workers, the caterers and raffle ticket sellers.

“But most of all the riders – brave and talented men.”

The streets are named after Gary Peterson, Arthur Forrest, Bradford Dukes and Bradford Northern.

Mr Forrest was born in Bradford and was a leading light between 1952 and 1957 for the Bradford Tudors side. Known as The Black Prince, he was the only Bradford rider to appear in five World Speedway Finals.

New Zealander Mr Peterson signed for Bradford Northern when speedway returned to Odsal in 1970. Tragically, he was killed on the Odsal track in October 1975.

When speedway returned to Odsal in 1985, the team became known as Bradford Dukes. The Dukes won speedway’s inaugural Elite League title in 1997.

Bradford’s speedway team took the Northern name – also synonymous with rugby league – between 1970 and 1973.

Councillor Robinson said: “I was very supportive of it because although I was not a fan of speedway and didn’t go and watch, it did bring a lot into the city at the time.

“Mr Murphy has done his lobbying in the correct way and in a very professional manner. He deserves what he has got.”

Comments (4)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

10:22am Thu 26 Dec 13

Albion. says...

"New Zealander Mr Peterson signed for Bradford Northern when speedway returned to Odsal in 1970. Tragically, he was killed on the Odsal track in October 1975."
I believe he was actually killed in a track crash at Wolverhampton. Fitting tributes all the same. One has to wonder what will eventually become of Odsal Stadium, and whether it's days as a sporting venue are numbered.
"New Zealander Mr Peterson signed for Bradford Northern when speedway returned to Odsal in 1970. Tragically, he was killed on the Odsal track in October 1975." I believe he was actually killed in a track crash at Wolverhampton. Fitting tributes all the same. One has to wonder what will eventually become of Odsal Stadium, and whether it's days as a sporting venue are numbered. Albion.

10:51am Thu 26 Dec 13

arry1863 says...

As a former speedway rider, instructor and promoter, in an effort to avoid ‘egg on face’ can I suggest a birth certificate check is conducted? While the ‘Peterson’ spelling is often used nowadays in referring to Gary, during the sixties and seventies, I knew him as a ‘Petersen’ – and a ‘Garry’ also. Moreover, with regard to those who yearn for the return of speedway and stock cars, the Bulls/Odsal situation is being closely monitored, and has been for some time. Dependant on future events, the relevant people are ready to make a move.
As a former speedway rider, instructor and promoter, in an effort to avoid ‘egg on face’ can I suggest a birth certificate check is conducted? While the ‘Peterson’ spelling is often used nowadays in referring to Gary, during the sixties and seventies, I knew him as a ‘Petersen’ – and a ‘Garry’ also. Moreover, with regard to those who yearn for the return of speedway and stock cars, the Bulls/Odsal situation is being closely monitored, and has been for some time. Dependant on future events, the relevant people are ready to make a move. arry1863

10:53am Thu 26 Dec 13

wobbley-bob says...

Indeed it was Wolverhampton, Oct 17th 1975....I was there.

Greay Idea, but I don't think they should've used the Dukes name though, as that was originally the name of the Halifax team.

We already have streets named after Bradford riders..... :-)
Havelock St.... Gary
Stead Terrace.... Gary
Wilson Rd....Sean
Pearson Fold....Darren
Thorp(e) Garth.... Paul
Smith Ave...Andy
Indeed it was Wolverhampton, Oct 17th 1975....I was there. Greay Idea, but I don't think they should've used the Dukes name though, as that was originally the name of the Halifax team. We already have streets named after Bradford riders..... :-) Havelock St.... Gary Stead Terrace.... Gary Wilson Rd....Sean Pearson Fold....Darren Thorp(e) Garth.... Paul Smith Ave...Andy wobbley-bob

5:23pm Tue 31 Dec 13

emerald tyke says...

wobbley-bob wrote:
Indeed it was Wolverhampton, Oct 17th 1975....I was there.

Greay Idea, but I don't think they should've used the Dukes name though, as that was originally the name of the Halifax team.

We already have streets named after Bradford riders..... :-)
Havelock St.... Gary
Stead Terrace.... Gary
Wilson Rd....Sean
Pearson Fold....Darren
Thorp(e) Garth.... Paul
Smith Ave...Andy
This is a great honour to have been bestowed on Speedway riders of Bradfords past....Gary Peterson (spelling) was used in all the Bradford programmes that I have in my collection and surely the team manager had checked this wilh Gary on first signing him. He was a brilliant rider and such a sad loss to Speedway.

I think the other street names you mention were not named after a rider as such but were just riders names coincidentally. These new streets are 'honouring' the riders in question and I would like to Thank the councillors involves for this successful outcome to a great idea put forward by Mr Murphy....we just need the roar of bikes around the Odsal Bowl to put the icing on this cake. Come on Bradford Council show your authority and lets get more sports in Odsal.(Mr T Mole is waiting in the shadows for the go ahead or not but I'm sure would love to be contacted either way!!)
[quote][p][bold]wobbley-bob[/bold] wrote: Indeed it was Wolverhampton, Oct 17th 1975....I was there. Greay Idea, but I don't think they should've used the Dukes name though, as that was originally the name of the Halifax team. We already have streets named after Bradford riders..... :-) Havelock St.... Gary Stead Terrace.... Gary Wilson Rd....Sean Pearson Fold....Darren Thorp(e) Garth.... Paul Smith Ave...Andy[/p][/quote]This is a great honour to have been bestowed on Speedway riders of Bradfords past....Gary Peterson (spelling) was used in all the Bradford programmes that I have in my collection and surely the team manager had checked this wilh Gary on first signing him. He was a brilliant rider and such a sad loss to Speedway. I think the other street names you mention were not named after a rider as such but were just riders names coincidentally. These new streets are 'honouring' the riders in question and I would like to Thank the councillors involves for this successful outcome to a great idea put forward by Mr Murphy....we just need the roar of bikes around the Odsal Bowl to put the icing on this cake. Come on Bradford Council show your authority and lets get more sports in Odsal.(Mr T Mole is waiting in the shadows for the go ahead or not but I'm sure would love to be contacted either way!!) emerald tyke

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree