Home Contact Us Stadia Pix Articles All About You Riders to Remember
DVDs Books Pictures Archive Dream Teams Programme Generator
Silver Machine Win Gold
Ivan's Fantasy Island
Your Feedback
Tidying Up The Parade
NZ v Australia 1980
Your Feedback
2024 is Off and Running
The Story of Noddy Holder
Your Feedback
1975/76 NZ v England
Your Feedback
DVD: Great Races of the 80s
What's Wrong With Ambition?
Your Feedback
Book Review: Walthamstow
When the Rangers Roared
High Beech Revival of 1954
Your Feedback
Western Springs Winged Wheels
Grand Pricks?
Your Feedback
Blind Speedway Rider
Track Pix: Oxford
Farcical Guest
Your Feedback
The Ole Olsen Tapes
Dream Team: Richard Cleaver
Plus Points
Your Feedback
1974/75 BL V New Zealand
Heat Details Required
Your Feedback
Northside Arena
Review: Tigers at White City
Your Feedback
How to halt the decline
NZ v Poland - 1st Test
NZ v Poland - 2nd Test
NZ v Poland - 3rd Test
NZ v Poland - 4th Test
Track Pictures: North Brisbane
It's All About You: Lionel King
Your Feedback
Dream Team : Geoff Langley
Your Feedback
Gerald Dunn's JAP
Your Feedback
1975 World Final. Heat 20.
Your Feedback
Peter Collins Autobiography
Your Feedback
DVD Review: 70s - A to Z
Your Feedback

Oxford's Minor Miracle
By John Fray

Sandy Lane

Our sport goes through many highs and lows. Wednesday night was an all time high for the many Oxford fans when Speedway returned after a 15 year absence. It was truly a fantastic night with so many of us meeting up with old friends.

The meeting was a sell out with a 2500 capacity crowd who witnessed a hard fought win with great racing from both teams. Our second meeting against Poole is already a sell out. It is hoped that all the facilities are in place the crowd maximum will be increased. The promoter and our two teams, the Cheetahs and Chargers, deserve it.

Ever since we lost our team in 2007 it's been a roller coaster ride with so many never believing that the Stadium would reopen. However the majority never gave up and one way or another we never allowed the legend that was Oxford Speedway to be forgotten.

The comeback should not be underestimated it's a minor miracle when considering all the odds that was set against it happening. The stadium and track had purposely been allowed to become in a perilous state by the owners who had no interest in the sport needs of the local community by just wanting to demolish and build high density housing units and leaving with a quick profit.

Thanks to all concerned at the coal face the Stadium was saved by the council not allowing the housing and making the sporting facility with all its history a heritage site. That backing was vital, but it also demonstrates that peoples power can work because ultimately it's what made it possible with a stadium lease being offered and then thankfully finding a businessman prepared to make a massive financial commitment to bring the stadium back to life. It is a ten year lease gamble, but true to his word with the help of many all the hard work and money has been put in and as well as speedway we still have greyhound racing to come with full stadium facilities being finalised.

The Save our Stadium campaign never gave up with so much work put in behind the scene lobbying councillors and keeping everyone's hopes up. The local press and media, Oxford Mail and BBC Radio Oxford and BBC and ITV regional TV also playing their part.

However I want to thank SpeedwayPlus for letting me make the occasional report it allowed a wider audience to know that the fight back was on going and it gave heart to me to have that support. Together we all helped to make it happen and after a fifteen year absences the first meeting was a triumph.

Now we all must give support to Swindon, Coventry and Reading to ensure we have the great midlands revival so many speedway fans want.


This article was first published on 18th April 2022

[ Use Mobile Version ]


  • Ian Davey:

    "A "minor miracle" indeed John. A little while back I published a brief article in the World Speedway Riders' Association magazine ("Tapes Up") about my memories of going to see Oxford Cheetahs when I was a student there. I concluded it by wishing the campaign to re-open Oxford every success in re-establishing one of the most well-known brands in the history of British Speedway, but I have to admit I never thought it would happen. Now it has.

    Congratulations to you and your fellow campaigners,John. It's a real boost for the sport and gives hope to Coventry, Reading etc.

    In August I'll be returning to see the Cheetahs, exactly 50 years since my last visit, accompanied by a friend who was a fellow student, who I've also not seen for 50 years! Should be a great night. "

  • John Fray:

    "Oxford had a great season with so many good nights with the Cheetahs and Chargers. The riders all had their moments that made us cheer like made. Nothing comes easy in our sport and we lost a few home matches, but each time by only a few points. We had many last heat deciders that kept us on edge. It was fantastic when we pulled it off. Obviously not so good when we lost. However the size of crowds never suffered they just kept coming. All were happy that we had our track back and teams to support.

    It was therefore so good to be at World Speedway Riders Association dinner to see Oxford receive their track of the year award. Thanks go to the Promoter, Team Managers, riders and all the staff and supporters that made the dream come true. We now look forward to the 2023 season with a team to set our hearts beating again and the hope that Coventry, Swindon and Reading can make it back to their tracks again."  


    Comment on this Article | Contact Us | Go Back to Main Menu

  •    Please leave your comments on this article or on the site as a whole