SPEEDWAY: World Champion Greg Hancock has pledged his support to the Save Coventry Speedway campaign, writes Observer speedway reporter Robin Allen.
The American spent five years with the Bees between 1997-2001 after which he had spells with Oxford and Reading.
Hancock then returned to Brandon in 2012 to compete in the Brandonapolis as he looked to get track time before the opening Grand Prix in New Zealand.
The 47-year-old made a dramatic return to league racing in the UK the following season when Poole swooped to sign the multiple World Champion as a replacement for Chris Holder as the Pirates clinched the league title.
Hancock told the Observer: “I knew the history of Coventry way back with the Ole Olsen days, and then modern times when I first started with Rick Miller, John Jorgensen, Tommy Knudsen, Nigel Boocock and the crew going way back before that.
“It’s massive, there’s this big list of names and this whole midlands area has produced some pretty amazing riders.
“Looking at the success that’s come from this area with the local rivalry, Coventry plays a massive part in the whole history of the sport and producing top sportsmen, world champions and just all-round great motorcycle personalities.
“For me to go there and ride under the regime of the Ochiltree family as well was great because I got to be part of their last years in the sport.
“When they decided to sell up and move on that was an end of an era and I am sure they probably look back on it now and think what did we do or what happened.”
Coventry joins a lengthy list of speedway teams now not in action.
And Hancock knows too well about the closure of speedway venues across the country.
He said: “Sadly, nearly every club that I have ridden for has gone that way with Cradley, Coventry, Oxford and Reading but fortunately Poole is still hanging in there doing well with a really great facility at Wimborne Road and they’ve got a great following down there which is great.
“The Save Coventry Speedway campaign group have asked me if I can help and the truth is the risk factor of doing these things today is too high.
“Of course I pledge my support to the club and I said to Jeff Davies when the time is right or it fits the schedule then of course I can do it.”