25th Jun, 2018

SAVE OUR BEES: 'Make as much noise possible' brother of legendary Bees racer advises fans to make themselves heard

THE BROTHER of legendary Coventry Bees rider Nigel Boocock has advised speedway fans to make as much noise possible with regards to getting the world famous club back on track in the future.

Eric Boocock hopes a solution can be found to return speedway and stock car racing back to Coventry Stadium, a venue where his brother competed for the Bees for 18 seasons.

At a time where fans of the Bees are starved of speedway action as a result of an on-going multi-party dispute, the former Middlesbrough Bear and Halifax Duke racer recalled some of his memories of Coventry Stadium.

While Eric competed in two world finals himself, his brother Nigel – who sadly passed away in April 2015 – won the British League Championship, the British League KO Cup, and the Midland Cup during his time with the Bees from 1959 until 1976.

Speaking to The Observer, Eric said support from local councillors is essential if the Bees are to return to racing.

He added: “I can only advise supporters of the Coventry Bees to make as much noise possible with local councillors to ensure the club can receive support to continue.

“I could name twenty tracks that I’ve raced at which are now gone.

“When Coventry closed down I could only think ‘not another one’ – how many more can keep closing?

“Coventry is hard to replace. If a new stadium is to be built it needs plenty of support.

“As soon as you mention bikes people seem to have a heart attack. Speedway used to be the second most popular sport in the UK after football.

“You could ask anyone in the street about Barry Briggs and be able to have a conversation about racing, but not now.

“A solid cash base is needed if the club is to come back, and it needs to be run professionally.”

While Eric’s racing career started in 1961, he spent his school days travelling around the country – and often visited Coventry to take in some of Coventry’s racing.

The 72-year-old has a long list of honours in speedway, and is one of the most respected figures in the sport having raced in World Finals, World Cups, and World Pairs Championships.

He said: “My first memories of Coventry Stadium go back to the 1960s – particularly in the school holidays.

“Crowds were huge, and I went to lots of meetings – in particular to go and support my brother and the team.

“Nigel stayed at Coventry for a long time. Everything about the club was ran really professionally.

“During the match no one was allowed to smoke cigarettes.

“Those in the middle wore their white overalls, the flight of the bumble bee would be played – we all loved it.”

Pictures credit: Jeff Davies Photography. 

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