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Display celebrates world champion success of Bradford’s speedway legend Gary Havelock
Bradford Speedway legend Gary Havelock is loaning out his world champion racing leathers to a new exhibition opening in the city soon.
From a week today, August 25, visitors to Bradford Industrial Museum will be able to see the leathers on show that Havelock wore when he sped to the finishing line, winning the world title in Poland in 1992.
The leathers and one of the tyres he used at that momentous event will be part of The History of Bradford Speedway exhibition until it ends in November.
Exhibition organiser John Murphy, from Buttershaw , said: “August 25 was the nearest opening date we could get to the 20th anniversary of him winning the World Speedway title on August 29, 1992 – the biggest achievement of any Bradford rider. It’s very generous of Gary to loan us these treasures – he’d been keeping them in his loft!”
The 43-year-old rider shot to fame while riding for the Bradford Dukes and is patron of the exhibition.
He is taking time out of the sport recovering from seven broken ribs, a broken collarbone, a broken shoulder and a bleed on the brain he suffered earlier this year after coming off his bike in an event in Redcar in front of fans.
He also tore nerves out of his left arm and has had surgery, putting nerve grafts from the back of his legs into his shoulder in the hope they would grow and give him back feeling sensation down to his hand.
“It’s very slow. The growth of getting feeling back can be about a centimetre a day at best. Getting back to the sport is the last thing on my mind at the moment. I’m just picking off the days as I recover. The feeling is about half way back now but I still can’t use my arm. It’s definitely improving but it’s frustrating.” he said. And he added: “I’m still here with my wife and kids so I’m a lucky man. Another six inches and my neck could have been broken.”
The Redcar Bears’ captain was hit on the back and neck by another rider before the impact threw him into a fence.
Mr Havelock said the support from well-wishers, especially in Bradford, has meant a lot as he fights his way back to fitness.
“The exhibition is a fantastic idea. Speedway is a big tradition in Bradford even though there isn’t a team there at the moment. It’s great John’s put so much work into it. I’m hoping to go along at some point.”