NEWS: Parr called up to England squad

Northumbria and Sheffield’s Gavin Parr has received a late call up from England manager, Mark Boaler, to the England squad for this weekend’s Home International meeting.

The popular 42 year old Geordie will replace Chris Timms, who is not able to ride due to work commitments. It’s a well deserved call up for one of Cycle Speedway’s well respected and hardest working riders…

Gavin’s last England appearance was in 1992. At the end of that season he hung up his wheels, seemingly for good, due to family commitments.

Roll on 18 years and things started to fall back into place, as Gav explains. “At 40 I decided to get fit and trained for a charity ‘4 at 40’ event. I did 100 mile bike ride, triathlon, Great North Run and the Great North Bike ride. I dropped from 15 stone fatty riding a motorbike who didn’t have a push bike to 12 1/2 stone. Then I heard the ex-Newcastle lads were getting together for a practice at cycle speedway on some grass in Cramlington. I went along for a chat more than anything else and then before I knew it, we were having regular Saturdays on a bit of dolomite surface at the local sports centre. We then organised a few friendlies two years ago and I cobbled together an old bike. I entered the British over 40s at East Park and had only rode on a proper track about 4 times! I ended up finishing 2nd and the rest is history.”

After a strong first season for newly formed Northumbria team, Parr was sitting in the top 6 of the Northern League averages. In the winter Sheffield came knocking to include him in their Elite League squad.

Parr upped his training with punishing early morning sessions at Newcastle’s ODFC training camp from January and has become one of Sheffield’s most consistent performers this season, guided along by friend and teammate, Andy Angell.

His #nopainnogain slogan and Facebook page/merchandising is regularly amassing followers as people continue to be inspired by one of the sport’s “Mr Nice Guys”. Gav along with the likes of England teammate Steve Harris and record breaking 2013 British Finalist Mark Griffiths (oldest finalist) continue to prove that “age is only a number” and today’s call up goes to show, what you put in, you get out. Well some Gavin, enjoy the day!