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Former Oxford Cheetahs promoter Bernard Crapper dies


Former Oxford Cheetahs promoter Bernard Crapper passed away on Tuesday after a period of ill health.

Crapper, who was appointed general manager of Oxford in 1979, was in charge of the side which won the British League title in 1985 and 1986.

John Payne, who worked alongside Crapper, said: "I'm gutted. I've lost my biggest mate.

"We went through some great highs at Oxford. We also had some lows, but all-in-all, we had a fantastic time."

When Crapper agreed to run the Cheetahs it was on the condition that Payne was installed alongside him.

"I feel privileged that when Bernard took over the running of the speedway, I was the guy that he insisted ran it with him," added Payne.

Crapper resigned as team manager in early 1987 in protest over the refereeing standards in speedway. But he continued his promotion duties with Payne up until 1995.

During that period the Cheetahs won the 1994 Division Two Fours Championship, which Crapper attended with his leg in plaster and a walking stick after junior team manager Colin Clarke accidentally ran his car into him in the Oxford pits.

Crapper's other major involvement in speedway was with the Speedway Riders' Benevolent Fund, which helps injured riders.

He first became involved with the fund in 1985 and later became its secretary and treasurer following the tragic death of former referee John Eglese in a car crash in 1994.

Crapper leaves a widow, Janet, to whom he was happily married for many years.

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see also
Cheetahs complete comeback race
18 Sep 09 |  Motorsport
Cheetahs set to miss 2008 season
23 Jan 08 |  Speedway
Oxford Cheetahs to close
31 May 07 |  England

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