Birmingham & Black Country

Arson-hit Wednesfield Aces cycling club to reopen

Paul Bodley in the new clubhouse
Image caption Local businessmen donated time and resources for free to help rebuild the clubhouse

A cycling club which was destroyed by arsonists is to reopen after raising £20,000 in three months.

Wednesfield Aces, which has produced British and world champions, was attacked by arsonists in August.

The Black Country club was not insured and feared at the time it would have to close down.

Chairman Paul Bodley, who started the club as a teenager, said the support received from the local community had been "incredible".

Mr Bodley said about £5,000 had been raised through sponsored events and fundraising sales.

'A dream'

He estimated an extra £15,000 to £20,000 of work on the clubhouse had been donated for free by local businessmen.

Mr Bodley said: "It's more than a relief - it's a dream.

"To see what's been achieved in less than 100 days is just incredible. Christmas has come early."

He said he believed the Olympics had enthused people into helping to support the club.

The 50-year-old club, based in Ashmore Park, caters for more than 70 junior members.

It will be holding an event for supporters on Saturday to mark its reopening.

Roger Ellis, who won the award as Senior World Individual Champion at Thurrock in 1983, and Shaun Ellis, who won Junior World Individual Champion at Poole in 1995, are among those who have trained at the club.

No-one has been arrested over the fire and West Midlands Police said they were continuing to investigate it.

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