Defunct Speedway Tracks



Bradford Speedway


Odsal Stadium


Odsal Stadium, Odsal Top, Rooley Avenue, Bradford, West Yorkshire.  Odsal staged speedway 1945-1997 off and on.


The Bradford team of 1962 used Greenfield Stadium not their usual home Odsal. It was the only season Greenfield was used for league racing.  Bradford had 6 nicknames over the years: Boomerangs, Tudors, Panthers, Northern, Barons and Dukes, it must be some kind of record?

Oliver Hart  Odsal 1949 Bulletin   Bradford Internationals in the 1980s  Bradford Badges


The Fantastic Odsal Stadium



Photo Courtesy of Richard Nicholson



A spectacular crash, riders unknown


Update: Bryan Tungate says: The photo of the 3 rider crash was, as you say, Odsal, Bradford. I have got that picture in an old scrap-book with some crayon colouring red on the race jacket.

The riders are Wal Morton, captain of Glasgow Tigers, doing a "head-stand", Vic Pitcher, Odsal reserve, sitting by the fence, and nearest camera Albert "Aussie" Rosenfeld who was a second string member of the Odsal side.

It looks as if Wal & Vic had crashed and Aussie laid his bike down.

Looking through the records on Speedway Researcher I can only find one race where the 3 riders were all involved. This was on 10 June 1946 - Odsal Stadium Whitsun Trophy - Heat One. The eventual result of the race was a win for Alec Statham with Wal in second place, Albert third and Vic at the back. 

A few weeks later, on July 6, Albert again crashed at Odsal. This time he received fatal injuries.



Oliver Hart


Oliver Hart, my uncle Georgie's favourite rider. I was too young to see Oliver ride but I know he was a spectacular rider to watch.



Oliver seen here with Kid Curtis, was one of the last of the leg trailers, he was really spectacular to watch.  Both riders were trailing their legs.  If you can tell me which of the pair is Oliver please email me John

Courtesy John Hunter via Dave Rowland

Fred Pallett says: Hello John, I refer to the photo of Oliver Hart.  Hart rode only for Wimbledon (1946) and Bradford Odsal (1947-52). His race jacket shows no evidence of the Wimbledon star but one can just make out the Odsal white star and boomerang within a white circle. Also, when riding for Wimbledon, his bike was fitted with the flat handlebars that were still in common use immediately after WW2. Therefore, my conclusion is that the photo shows him riding for Bradford during the period 1947-52


Memories of Odsal
Larry Ramsden says: Hi John,
             Just chanced on your web post. A few memories came back to me.  I recall as thirteen year old
Saturday nights at Odsal walking up Manchester Road taking in the all the shop windows (the bus fair was too expensive  for a school boy).
               Alec Statham was the team captain of the Boomerangs.  My favourite was without a doubt the leg trailer Oliver Hart who was  partnered at that time by Ernie Price. My school mate knew Ron Johnson (Belle Vue) from the time when he lived  in Manchester  during the war years. You mention Ausie Rosenfeld a great team member whom  I recall sadly lost his life at Odsal. We used to go as a gang to Odsal  on Tuesday nights when we were admitted for free watching the junior novice hopefuls and the never was' competing for a Saturday night place on the track. Johnie Hoskins ran the whole show at that time and never ran out of ideas for publicity.
          The bikes were all J.A.P. engined in those days and the smell of Dope (Methanol) hung in the air on the pits bend . Great times remembered still. The bug must have bitten a bit deeper because I managed to serve as a Signals dispatch rider in my Army time . Watching the mile long track at Ruleben was a bit different to the  Odsal Stadium quarter miler
          Thanks for posting the photos I really enjoyed them. Stay safe .  Larry Ramsden.
John says: Thank you Larry.  Yes I remember the smell which wasn't caused by Methanol, by the way!  It was the engine oil (Castrol R 40) used by high performance machinery.  Sniff!

Courtesy of Graham Gleave

Oliver Burr's Photos
Oliver Burr says: I found these 3 pictures while going through my Dad’s stuff after he died. Can you shed any light on the location? This would be between 1946 and 1950 as close as we can tell. Thanks for any help you can give.
John says: I think this is the Shay Stadium Halifax as the track is big, around a Rugby Football pitch and the higher ground around the track was a feature of the Shay, you could stand there and watch the racing without paying.  I have never been there, so I may be wrong, so tell me is it the Shay or elsewhere John
Steve Baker says: The mystery track picture is not of the Shay, it's Odsal in the late forties. The picture is taken from what we now consider the first bend but in those days it was actually the fourth bend. So the stand we see was then on the home straight, which is now the back straight! The opening to the pits can be seen to the right of the stand just entering the bend. 
Oliver Burr says: Hi John, I think Steve Baker is right, Odsal in Bradford. I see buildings in the background that are the same in Dad’s shots and others on your website and others I looked at. Plus the fact it was the town his RAF mate lived in. Many thanks for solving this mystery for us.  
John says:  Yes Oliver, Steve is usually right!

Bradford Badges
1946  1973 1974
1975  1975  1975 
  1985 1985 
1985  1985  1985 
1985 1987       1988 
1989   1989 1990 
1990 1990 1991
1991 1991 
1992   1992   1992
1992  1994  1995 
1996  1996  1997 
1997 1997 1997
Odsal closed it's doors, no more badges after 1997   

Odsal 1947
From The Air

Bruce Booth With The Two Arthurs
Courtesy of Graham Gleave

Max Grosskreutz At Odsal
1947 & 1948
Courtesy of Graham Gleave

Eddie Rigg
Courtesy of Graham Gleave
Eddie rode in Australia 1951.  He was in the race with the White Ghost Aussie Ken Le Breton when Ken crashed and lost his life.  No-one is blaming Eddie or the other two riders.  Ken's crash was simply an accident


Odsal Supporters Club
1949 Bulletin

The following Odsal Bulletin booklet was sent to me by Les Brewer, thank you Les for helping me add another piece to the old time speedway jigsaw puzzle.

The Text from the bulletin follows on the 3 pages shown below: 




I believe the receipts relate to the membership cards.  Five pounds was more than a weeks wages where I come from in 1949.

Odsal 1949
Courtesy of Graham Gleave

Odsal Crash
Courtesy of Graham Gleave
A 3 rider pile up during Odsal v Belle Vue on 14th May 1951.  Oliver Hart fell and Belle Vue's Louis Lawson & George Smith laid their bikes down to avoid hitting the Bradford rider


John Bush's Photo Collection


John's father Arthur Bush rode for Odsal in the 1950's.  The items that follow in this section were sent to me by John  Bush and unless any of the photo's are captioned with a different named subject then they are of John's father Arthur Bush, Bradford's number 1 rider.


Courtesy of John Bush


Courtesy of John Bush

John Bush's scans continue below: -



Australia v England
Test Matches
1951 & 1952




Great artwork on the old programme kangaroo, koala and lion maybe the artist couldn't think of a second animal relative to England?  Well! what about a bulldog on a bike bringing up the rear?

More from the test match programme: -

Arthur Bush, international speedway star, a member of the English tourists in Australia 1951 and 1952



The Tudor Roses


Courtesy of John Bush


Arthur Bush is second from the right in the bottom row


Bradford 1950s
Courtesy of Graham Gleave
Courtesy of Graham Gleave

Lloyd Goffe
Courtesy of Graham Gleave

1951 Bradford Odsal Tudors v Bristol Bulldogs
My thanks to John Bush for sending the above items featuring his dad Arthur Bush


1955 Bradford Tudors


Courtesy Of Ken Mellor

Ken Mellor says: Hi John, Pleased you could use the pic. Have just found the team names as below; L to R Jack Hughes. Arthur Forrest. Ron Clarke (manager). Arthur Wright. Bruce Booth (promoter).Guy Allott. Kneeling Left. Keith Milner, Eddie Rigg (captain). Kneeling Right. Al Alison.  Silly bit of info; Arthur Forrest and Arthur Wright married Jack Hughes`s two sisters. Keep up the good work. Regards   Ken
Bradford 1955

Dave Beecroft's Photos


6 Photos from Dave Beecroft an Odsal fan.  These show the track in the late 1940's.  Dave points out the size of the crowd.  Yes that's impressive by any standard. 


Memories Of A Bradford Fan

Thomas (Floyd) Oliver says: I am originally from  Bradford now living in Canada  and was a Bradford "Boomerangs" fan I have a few bits and pieces that I have saved over the years, I remember people like Johnny Hoskins (who wrote a book about The Boomers).  Guys like Malc Craven , Alf Kanes and Oliver Hart. Your website brings back a lot of memories from then, My Dad played for The Greenfield Giants baseball team back in the late 40s for a while too, its good to see someone taking an interest in the way Bradford used to be, keep up the good work

Bradford v Liverpool &
25th July 1959
You will notice Mike Parker driving a SpeedCar.  He is the same Mike Parker who promoted Stoke, Newcastle and Wolverhampton.

Northern Rider's Trophy
15th July 1970
Courtesy of Wattie Dunlop
Courtesy of Wattie Dunlop
1st: Gary Peterson 2nd: Alan Knapkin 3rd: Eric Broadbelt

1971 Programme Items
Regular website contributor, Scotland's Wattie Dunlop has an amazing collection of speedway items, this time he has sent me a number of Bradford Odsal programme items from 1971 which I am displaying below: -
Bradford v Berwick
Courtesy of Wattie Dunlop
Courtesy of Wattie Dunlop
The Bandits lost this match due to the reserves.  Berwick's duo managed 2 points between them whereas Bradford's reserves scored 13 plus 3 bonus, which was the difference between winning and losing the match!
Name The Riders
Courtesy of Nigel
Not sure of the home team, whom are heading for a 4-2, could be Bradford I think, but not sure?, however the visitors are Berwick Bandits and if I am not mistaken the guy in the middle is Rob Grant Snr.  If you can throw some light on this photo please email me here John

Steve Baker says: Hi John, hope you are keeping well. I see you have a new picture on name the rider 3 which I think I can identify. I reckon its from 1971, 19th May, Bradford v Berwick, heat 2, Alan Bridgett leading Alan Paynter and Robin Adlington. The Berwick rider is certainly not Granty Snr as his career didn't start until 1978. Anyway, Adlington came through for a 5-1 and Bradford went on to win 45-33.  All the best, Steve 

Bradford Northern 1971
Robin Adlington, Stan Holey, Dave Baugh, Alf Wells, Alan Bridgett, Alan Knapkin, Peter Thompson, Sid Sheldrick and Dave Schofield on bike.

Young England v Young Czechoslovakia
Courtesy of Wattie Dunlop
Courtesy of Wattie Dunlop
England v Czechoslakia Scorechart
Courtesy of Wattie Dunlop

Bradford v Scunthorpe
Courtesy of Andrew Gallon

Bradford v Coatbridge
Courtesy of Wattie Dunlop
Courtesy of Wattie Dunlop

Bradford Odsal 1985 Internationals

 Odsal World Championship Final 1985

Courtesy of Jack Babrovskie

Courtesy of Phil Small 


Courtesy of Phil Small 


Courtesy of Phil Small 


Odsal's 1986 Intercontinental Final
Courtesy of Jack Babrovskie

Odsal's Main Stand 1988
Courtesy of Jack Babrovskie
1989 World Team Cup
Bradford Odsal 1990
World Final
Odsal 1991
England v USA Test

Bradford 1991 Team
Courtesy of Wattie Dunlop

Bradford v Berwick
Courtesy of Andrew Gallon

Left to right: Jeremy Doncaster, Robert Pfetzing, Neil Evitts and Shawn Moran.  A great photo presumably around 2nd bend first lap
Bradford 1992

Courtesy of Andrew Gallon

If you can scan any Odsal pictures, programmes or badges send me an email John 

The contents of the site are and should not be reproduced elsewhere for financial gain. The contributors to this site gave the pictures and information on that understanding.  If anyone has any issue or objections to any items on the site please e-mail and I will amend or remove the item.  Where possible credit has been given to the owner of each item.

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