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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Coventry Bees
Club information
Track addressBrandon Stadium
Club facts
ColoursYellow and Black
Track size301 metres (329 yd)
Track record time57.6 seconds
Track record holderChris Harris
Major team honours
League Champions1968, 1978, 1979, 1987, 1988, 2005, 2007, 2010
Knockout Cup Winners1967, 2006, 2007
League Cup Winners1981, 1985, 1987
Craven Shield Winners1997, 2000, 2007, 2008
British League Pairs Champions1978
Elite League Pairs Champions2008, 2010
National League Division Two champions1953
Midland Cup Winners1952, 1960, 1966, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1981, 1982
Midland League Winners1980
Northern Shield Winners1954
Central Shield Winners1961
Midland Development League Champions2016

Coventry Bees were a motorcycle speedway team that existed from 1929 to 2018. They raced at Brandon Stadium, Brandon near Coventry, England.[1]


Coventry Stadium at Brandon
Coventry Stadium at Brandon

A Coventry team was first formed in 1928 and competed in the inaugural season of the Southern League and then the National League from 1932 during the pre-war era at Brandon stadium. There were also meetings at a stadium at the Lythalls Lane Stadium. After the war, the club became The Bees and were involved every season from 1948 until the loss of Brandon stadium shortly before the start of the 2017 season, during which they ran a series of challenge matches at other tracks.[2][3][4]

Although the club have won the now defunct Midland Cup eleven times, the first silverware won at national level by the club was the 1953 Speedway National League Division Two league title.[5] The first major trophy was becoming league champions of the Great Britain during the 1968 British League season. They went on to become League champions in 1968, 1978, 1979, 1987, 1988, 2005 and 2007 and 2010. In 2010, they won the Elite League Championship, defeating the Poole Pirates in both legs of the play-off grand finals.[6]

Coventry versus Oxford in 2007
Coventry versus Oxford in 2007

On 28 October 2007, the Bees lifted the Elite League Knockout Cup for the second year running, defeating the Swindon Robins in the final, completing a clean sweep of all three major trophies, having already annexed the Craven Shield by beating Swindon Robins and the Poole Pirates over the three leg final. This was their third Knockout Cup success.

On 24 November 2010, following changes to the rules for rider averages made at the Annual General Meeting of the BSPA, the Coventry Bees and Peterborough Panthers walked out of the meeting.[7] As a result, on 27 November, the BSPA omitted both teams from the 2011 Elite League for failing to declare their intent to compete in the 2011 league at the AGM.[8][9] Two months later on 17 February 2011, it was announced by the BSPA that both Coventry and Peterborough would not be competing in the Elite League after both clubs rejected an offer[10] On 8 April 2011, the BSPA officially confirmed both teams had returned to the Elite League for the 2011 season.[11]

On 11 August 2011, Edward Kennett resigned from the team, after it was deemed his silencer was 'illegal' when racing against Lakeside on 6 August.[12] Kennett said this was caused by 'a member of his team' who had 'tampered with it'. Kennett was banned from racing for 7 days by the SCB[13] and appeared in front of a disciplinary hearing on 16 August where he received a 6-month worldwide ban.[14]

On 21 September 2011, the Bees were put up for sale by owner Avtar Sandhu[15] and then taken over by businessman Mick Horton, with the promotional licence held jointly by Colin Pratt and Mick Horton.[16]


On 26 February 2017 it was announced by the BSPA that the club has had its licence frozen and therefore would not be competing in the Speedway Great Britain Premiership 2017 season. The licence being frozen was due to the club being unable to satisfy the BSPA that they can fulfil a full season of league racing. This was primarily due to having an agreement with Leicester Lions to only use their stadium for a handful of fixtures and not having any guarantees of being able to return to Brandon Stadium for the remaining fixtures.[17][18]

The Bees were reformed to compete in the 2018 National League, with home meetings being staged at Leicester.[19] The Bees became homeless once more in 2019 as the Leicester promotion decided to run their own National League junior team (The Cubs). Brandon Stadium today lies derelict with several planning applications having been made for redevelopment. Many club enthusiasts, supported by the local council, have campaigned for the return of speedway and stock car racing to the stadium.[20]

In early 2022, an organization advocating the return of motorsport to the site, Save Coventry Speedway, proposed to the council that speedway be restored to the stadium, along with a museum and restaurant. Brandon Estates maintained plans to build a housing development, stating that speedway at the stadium is currently not "financially viable."[21]

Notable riders

Season summary

Extended content
Year and league Position Notes
1929 Speedway Southern League 3rd
1930 Speedway Southern League 6th
1931 Speedway Southern League 10th
1932 Speedway National League 7th
1933 Speedway National League 7th
1948 Speedway National League Division Three 8th
1949 Speedway National League Division Two 12th
1950 Speedway National League Division Two 4th
1951 Speedway National League Division Two 4th
1952 Speedway National League Division Two 2nd
1953 Speedway National League Division Two 1st Div 2 champions
1954 Speedway National League 8th
1955 Speedway National League 2nd
1956 Speedway National League 5th
1957 Speedway National League 8th
1958 Speedway National League 7th
1959 Speedway National League 3rd
1960 Speedway National League 9th
1961 Speedway National League 3rd
1962 Speedway National League 3rd
1963 Speedway National League 4th
1964 Speedway National League 2nd
1965 British League season 3rd
1966 British League season 2nd
1967 British League season 2nd Knockout Cup winners
1968 British League season 1st champions
1969 British League season 14th
1970 British League season 3rd
1971 British League season 3rd
1972 British League season 10th
1973 British League season 15th
1974 British League season 15th
1975 British League season 16th
1976 British League season 4th
1977 British League season 8th
1978 British League season 1st champions
1979 British League season 1st champions
1980 British League season 4th
1981 British League season 5th League cup winners
1982 British League season 4th
1983 British League season 3rd
1984 British League season 12th
1985 British League season 3rd League Cup winners
1986 British League season 5th
1987 British League season 1st champions, League Cup winners
1988 British League season 1st champions
1989 British League season 5th
1990 British League season 8th
1991 British League season 7th
1992 British League season 8th
1993 British League season 5th
1994 British League season 4th
1995 Premier League speedway season 15th
1996 Premier League speedway season 10th
1997 Elite League speedway season 8th Craven Shield winners
1998 Elite League speedway season 3rd
1999 Elite League speedway season 4th
2000 Elite League speedway season 4th Craven Shield winners
2001 Elite League speedway season 3rd
2002 Elite League speedway season 3rd
2003 Elite League speedway season 2nd
2004 Elite League speedway season 10th
2005 Elite League speedway season 2nd PO Champions
2006 Elite League speedway season 4th Knockout Cup winners
2007 Elite League speedway season 1st champions, Knockout Cup & Craven Shield winners
2008 Elite League speedway season 6th Craven Shield winners
2009 Elite League speedway season 4th
2010 Elite League speedway season 4th PO Champions
2011 Elite League speedway season 5th
2012 Elite League speedway season 8th
2013 Elite League speedway season 10th
2014 Elite League speedway season 3rd PO Final
2015 Elite League speedway season 2nd PO Semi
2016 Elite League 7th

Season summary (juniors)

Extended content

Coventry Storm made their competitive debut in the 2013 National League season.[22] The Bees had previously run a team in the third tier of British speedway in 2004, under the name Coventry Cougars. The initial team line-up was Joe Jacobs, James Sarjeant, Oliver Greenwood, Brendan Johnson, Richard Franklin, Trevor Heath, and Martin Knuckey, but a broken wrist for Greenwood saw Robert Branford replace him, with Tommy Fenwick also replacing Heath.[23]

Year and league Position Notes
2004 Speedway Conference League N/A Cougars, Conference Trophy only
2013 National League speedway season 5th Storm
2014 National League speedway season 2nd Storm
2015 National League speedway season 4th Storm
2016 National League speedway season 10th Storm


  1. ^ "BRITISH LEAGUE TABLES - PRE-WAR ERA (1929-1939)". Official British Speedway website. Retrieved 14 August 2021.
  2. ^ "Year by Year". Speedway Researcher. Retrieved 14 August 2021.
  3. ^ "Coventry Bees". Defunct Speedway Researcher. Retrieved 14 August 2021.
  4. ^ Rogers, Martin (1978). The Illustrated History of Speedway. Studio Publications (Ipswich) Ltd. p. 129. ISBN 0-904584-45-3.
  5. ^ "BRITISH LEAGUE TABLES - POST-WAR ERA (1946-1964)". Official British Speedway website. Retrieved 14 August 2021.
  6. ^ "Coventry Bees crowned Elite League champions". BBC Sport. BBC. 5 October 2010. Retrieved 5 October 2010.
  7. ^ "Coventry Bees speedway future under threat". BBC Sport. BBC. 24 November 2010. Retrieved 15 January 2011.
  8. ^ "British Speedway Statement". British Speedway Promoters' Association. 27 November 2010. Retrieved 15 January 2011.
  9. ^ "Coventry Bees' Elite League exit confirmed by BSPA". BBC Sport. BBC. 29 November 2010. Retrieved 15 January 2011.
  10. ^ "British Speedway Statement". British Speedway Promoters' Association. Retrieved 17 February 2011.
  11. ^ "BSPA confirm return of Coventry Bees and Peterborough". BBC Sport. BBC. 8 April 2011. Retrieved 8 April 2011.
  12. ^ "Coventry Bees skipper Edward Kennett resigns from club". BBC Sport. BBC. 11 August 2011. Retrieved 21 September 2011.
  13. ^ "Coventry Bees skipper Edward Kennett banned for a week". BBC Sport. BBC. 8 August 2011. Retrieved 21 September 2011.
  14. ^ "Ex-Coventry captain Edward Kennett gets six-month ban". BBC Sport. BBC. 17 August 2011. Retrieved 21 September 2011.
  15. ^ "Coventry Bees speedway put up for sale". BBC Sport. BBC. 21 September 2011. Retrieved 21 September 2011.
  16. ^ "Mick Horton is new Coventry Bees speedway owner". BBC Sport. BBC. 31 October 2011. Retrieved 31 October 2011.
  17. ^ "BSPA STATEMENT". Coventry Bees (Official Website). 26 February 2017. Retrieved 27 February 2017.
  18. ^ "STATEMENT: CLLR MICHAEL STOKES". Coventry Bees (Official Website). 26 February 2017. Retrieved 27 February 2017.
  19. ^ "SGB Statement: Coventry Bees",, 9 January 2018. Retrieved 18 January 2018
  20. ^ Fair, Thomas (13 November 2021). "Engines roar no more - the current state of Coventry Stadium". CoventryLive. Retrieved 28 June 2022.
  21. ^ Suart, Paul (14 April 2022). "Campaigners' bid to bring speedway back to Coventry Stadium moves step closer". CoventryLive. Retrieved 28 June 2022.
  22. ^ "Coventry Storm into National League". Official Coventry Bees Website. Coventry Speedway. 18 December 2012. Retrieved 25 December 2012.
  23. ^ "Double Change for Storm",, 20 April 2013. Retrieved 4 May 2013

External links

This page was last edited on 16 February 2023, at 17:16
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