Telford Ice Speedway event forced to close

Ice Speedway
The final Telford Ice Speedway event will be held on 26 February

Speedway's annual Telford Ice Spectacular has been forced to close after 25 years of competition.

Major redevelopment of the Telford Ice Rink has meant there will be no home for the bikes after next year's event.

"It's with a heavy heart that we have to close - we've been told there'll be no place for the bikes," promoter Graham Drury told BBC Radio Shropshire.

"The event's been big for speedway, and with over 250,000 fans over the years it's been big for the local economy."

Drury - an ex-professional international rider in conventional speedway - came up with the idea of indoor ice speedway when his riding career was coming to an end.

"It was a little crazy, but I thought bringing speedway indoors during the winter would produce something exciting - and ice rinks seemed to be good and available venues," he said.

With screws inserted into the bike tyres for added grip, Drury tested out his venture and the Telford Ice Rink took a punt on the idea.

From those beginnings, Drury took the sport all over the world on what he described as "a fantastic journey."

He added: "The management at the Telford Ice Rink at the time took a brave decision to have a go with me, and what a development it proved for British speedway."

Drury is planning a special programme for the final Telford event on 26 February, 2012.