NEWS: Murphy honoured with Wilkinson Sword
Long time Cycle Speedway stalwart, Dave Murphy, has been awarded the Wilkinson Sword by the Cycle Speedway Commission.
Dave’s involvement in the sport spans many decades, as a rider and a key volunteer. His most recent major roles being secretary of the ICSF for over a decade, as well as leading Great Britain to triumph as team manager in the Ashes series against Australia in 2015. Dave is also involved in running Exeter Aces and South West and Wales region.
Dave’s involvement as a cycle speedway administrator has spanned 4 decades, since he first appeared on the English League Management Committee in the early 1980’s and subsequently held positions within the British Cycle Speedway Council, the British Cycle Speedway Commission and the SSW Regional Committee.
His most high-profile role involved a 13-year tenure as General Secretary of the ICSF, during a period when International racing saw the introduction of Women’s and Veteran’s World Championships along with the Federation Cup.
Dave also created the Euro-Vets GP series, which he organised with Fred Rothwell before later handing over the reins to Rothwell and he was also instrumental in organising the initial Premier League (later renamed the Elite League) when he served as National Competitions Manager, under the guidance of Rod Witham.
Dave still regards Rod Witham as a key inspiration and mentor, when recalling their time served on the Cycle Speedway Council whilst, in recent years, SSW regional colleague Graham Sutton has also been another key inspiration.
Now entering his 45th year of racing, Dave was a 3-times member of the Great Britain touring squad competing for the Ashes in Australia and has accumulated more International appearances than any other rider in the sport during a career with Wales which spanned 3 decades. He became the first ICSF World Veterans Champion in 2005.
Dave took on the role as Team GB manager at a time when nobody else wanted the position. He suffered the disappointment of failure when his GB team were defeated in the 2013 Ashes series, before bouncing back to lead a team which won the 2015 Ashes series.
Before stepping down as team manager, he then led a team which defeated Poland in a classic Test Match at Poole and completed a clean-sweep as Team GB defeated both Australia and Poland to win the 2015 Federation Cup.
It’s fair to say, without the relentless, largely unseen work by people like Dave, we wouldn’t have a sport.