September 26th, 2016

Hundreds remember Coventry Speedway legend at open public service

Updated: 2:52 pm, Jan 12, 2016

SPEEDWAY fans from across the nation travelled in their hundreds to the Brandon Stadium on Saturday to remember Coventry Bees legend, Nigel Boocock.

The ‘Little Blue Boy’ took his final chequered flag in an emotional final lap with 1976 World Speedway Champion Peter Collins and Nigel’s grandson, Thomas.

Boocock spent 18 seasons with the Bees, won the British League Championship, captained England and achieved a highest world ranking of fourth when finishing one place shy of the podium in 1969 at London’s Wembley Stadium.

Some of the sport’s legends of past and present including Peter Collins, Mike Broadbank and Chris Harris turned out to support the occasion which attracted over 1,000 people.

The Wakefield-born legend passed away at his Queensland home in Australia in early April, aged 77.

To add to his list of honours, Nigel rode in 750 matches – scoring over 7,500 points and recorded a remarkable 11 point average for the 1965 season.

Councillor Tony Gillias, a former Coventry Bees rider and friend of Nigel Boocock, said Nigel was one of the most significant riders of all time and Saturday morning was a touching occasion for everyone.

Coun Gillias told The Observer: “It was an incredible event, the weather cleared up for us and it gave many former riders and fans of Nigel to give him the send off he deserved.

“You’d probably have to be 45 or older to remember Nigel’s days at Brandon and their were plenty of people who knew Nigel from his heyday that turned out.

“Nigel put his heart and sole into racing and many people shod a tear or two when it came to laying him to rest beneath the old gate one position where he created so many fantastic memories.”

Current Coventry Bees skipper Chris Harris attended and Coun Gillias remarked the 33-year-old as the “man who’s carrying the baton” for Coventry Speedway.

He added: “Chris is a great rider and it was nice to see him at the service on Saturday.

“A collection took place during the service to raise funds for the Speedway Riders Benevolent Fund and over £1,300 was donated which is a fantastic amount of money.”

The service concluded with the release of white doves as a sign of peace.

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