SPEEDWAY by Alan Goodman

A large crowd gathering at the Brandon stadium to pay tribute to Nigel Boocock
A large crowd gathering at the Brandon stadium to pay tribute to Nigel Boocock
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Fans remember Bees’ legend Nigel Boocock

An estimated four-figure crowd gathered in the grandstand area of Brandon stadium for a service to commemorate the life of former Bees legend Nigel Boocock, who died in Australia last year, writes Alan Goodman.

Grandson Thomas taking the ashes on a final lap of the track with Peter Collins

Grandson Thomas taking the ashes on a final lap of the track with Peter Collins

A host of former riders attended, including Boocock’s former team mates Rick France, Jim Lightfoot, Brian Meredith and John Harrhy. Other riders gathered included Ray Wilson, John Hart, the Grahame brothers, Andy and Alan, Sean Wilson and Mike Broadbank. Also present was Bees skipper Chris Harris.

The service was conducted by the Reverend Michael Whawell, the honorary chaplain of the World Speedway Riders Association.

Peter York interviewed some of the ex-Bees riders before a tribute was given by Nigel’s brother Eric, himself a former international who partnered Nigel in many England and GB teams.

A verse from St. John, chapter 14, was read by former mechanic and business partner Roy Adams.

After prayers, Nigel’s ashes were taken on a final lap of the Brandon circuit, carried by his grandson Thomas, on a bike ridden by former World champion Peter Collins.

The ashes were laid on the starting grid under where gate one used to be before track alterations took place.

After the committal and before the blessing, white doves were released as a sign of peace by Nigel’s family.

The weather was nice for the occasion and the large turnout showed just exactly how Nigel was remembered by fans.

Tony Gillias and Colin Pratt must also take credit for the excellent organisation of what was a very sad time for many Bees fans.