CLUB NEWS: John Whiting Appreciation Event a huge success

Bury Cycle Speedway’s Goshen circuit looked like a living history of Cycle Speedway, as some of the true greats from the sport’s past took to their bikes, mixing with the north’s young and not so young current riders.

The occasion was the John Whiting Appreciation Event, which proved not only a fitting tribute to the rider, referee, secretary, team manager, track designer and fiercest of competitors, who very sadly left us in March 2015, but also a great social occasion.

John’s family and close friends were fully involved in the day’s proceedings, as were very many of his former Blackley teammates. The on track action was a mixture of informal riding and three lap races.

The sight of John Watchman, Josh Gleave and Mike Berry, to name but three, back on a track was much welcomed; fellow veterans Gary Hollingsworth and Graham Johnston taking things a stage further by mixing it in the races with today’s youngsters.

The late John Whiting.

The late John Whiting.

After an hour or so at the track everyone retired to a nearby hostelry; which would surely have met with John’s approval. Michelle Whiting-Southward, John’s daughter, then presented mementos to those in attendance, including by this stage one Vic Haines, who had made the longest journey of all to show his appreciation.

Reminiscences then continued into the evening and all agreed that the event had been a success.

Thanks to everyone involved. Photos of the action are now displayed at, where a new gallery for visitors to upload their own photographic memories has been established as a permanent tribute to John Whiting, a legendary figure in the sport of cycle speedway.