Coventry Bees were a motorcycle speedway team formerly based at Brandon near Coventry, England.


A Coventry team was first formed in 1928 and competed in the Southern League and then the National League in the pre-war era at Brandon stadium. There were also meetings at a stadium in Lythalls Lane. After the war, the club became The Bees and have been 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.

They won the Elite League Championship in 2010, defeating the Poole Pirates in both legs of the play-off grand finals.[2] It was the ninth time that the club have been crowned League Champions, following on from successes achieved in 1953, 1968, 1978, 1979, 1987, 1988, 2005 and 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.

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.[3] As a result, on 27 November 2010 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.[4][5] The decision is set to be the subject of a legal challenge by both clubs.[6]

On 17 February 2011, it was announced by the BSPA that both Coventry and Peterborough would not be competing in the Elite League. Both clubs rejected an offer from the BSPA issued on 31 January 2011, which would have permitted both clubs to continue with their proposed legal action (including claims for compensation from any losses) whilst resuming their league membership with immediate effect.[7]

On 15 March 2011 it was announced that both the Coventry Bees and Peterborough Panthers would be part of the 2011 Elite League season.[8] However this was not officially confirmed by the BSPA despite announcements by Peterborough and Coventry bees co-promoter, Allen Trump.

On 8 April 2011, the BSPA officially confirmed both teams had returned to the Elite League for the 2011 season.[9]

On 11 August 2011 Edward Kennett resigned from Coventry Speedway, after it was deemed his silencer was 'illegal' when racing against Lakeside on 6 August.[10] 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[11] and appeared in front of a disciplinary hearing on 16 August where he received a 6-month worldwide ban.[12]

On 21 September 2011 the Bees were put up for sale by owner Avtar Sandhu.[13] The club is now owned by businessman Mick Horton, and the promotional licence is held jointly by Colin Pratt and Mick Horton.[14]

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.[15][16]

The Bees were reformed to compete in the 2018 National League, with home meetings being staged at Leicester.[17] 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 a new housing estate. Despite this many Bees enthusiasts supported by the local council are campaigning for the return of Speedway and Stock Car racing to the stadium.

Brandon Stadium

Coventry Stadium at Brandon

Between 1928 and 2016, the team rode at Brandon Stadium in Brandon, Warwickshire. As of the final season at the stadium, the track length was 301 metres (329 yd), and the track record was 57.6 seconds, held by Chris Harris.

Notable riders

Club honours


  1. ^ "CHRISTMAS STATEMENT". Save Coventry Speedway. 23 December 2019. Retrieved 1 January 2020.
  2. ^ "Coventry Bees crowned Elite League champions". BBC Sport. BBC. 5 October 2010. Retrieved 5 October 2010.
  3. ^ "Coventry Bees speedway future under threat". BBC Sport. BBC. 24 November 2010. Retrieved 15 January 2011.
  4. ^ "British Speedway Statement". British Speedway Promoters' Association. 27 November 2010. Retrieved 15 January 2011.
  5. ^ "Coventry Bees' Elite League exit confirmed by BSPA". BBC Sport. BBC. 29 November 2010. Retrieved 15 January 2011.
  6. ^ "Bees and Panthers launch legal challenge". BBC Sport. BBC. 2 December 2010. Retrieved 15 January 2011.
  7. ^ "British Speedway Statement". British Speedway Promoters' Association. Retrieved 17 February 2011.
  8. ^ "Peterborough and Coventry allowed back in Elite League". BBC Sport. BBC. 15 March 2011. Retrieved 15 March 2011.
  9. ^ "BSPA confirm return of Coventry Bees and Peterborough". BBC Sport. BBC. 8 April 2011. Retrieved 8 April 2011.
  10. ^ "Coventry Bees skipper Edward Kennett resigns from club". BBC Sport. BBC. 11 August 2011. Retrieved 21 September 2011.
  11. ^ "Coventry Bees skipper Edward Kennett banned for a week". BBC Sport. BBC. 8 August 2011. Retrieved 21 September 2011.
  12. ^ "Ex-Coventry captain Edward Kennett gets six-month ban". BBC Sport. BBC. 17 August 2011. Retrieved 21 September 2011.
  13. ^ "Coventry Bees speedway put up for sale". BBC Sport. BBC. 21 September 2011. Retrieved 21 September 2011.
  14. ^ "Mick Horton is new Coventry Bees speedway owner". BBC Sport. BBC. 31 October 2011. Retrieved 31 October 2011.
  15. ^ "BSPA STATEMENT". Coventry Bees (Official Website). 26 February 2017. Retrieved 27 February 2017.
  16. ^ "STATEMENT: CLLR MICHAEL STOKES". Coventry Bees (Official Website). 26 February 2017. Retrieved 27 February 2017.
  17. ^ "SGB Statement: Coventry Bees",, 9 January 2018. Retrieved 18 January 2018

External links