FOR everything Gary Havelock has given to speedway, you would have thought someone at the BSPA would make a stand.

As precious as Sky’s five-year broadcast deal is to the Elite League, surely the very nature of Havvy’s farewell meeting would have prompted someone to thump the table with a reaffirming no on this occasion.

From supporters to world champions, everyone involved in the shale sport has had this date indelibly etched on their calendars for the best part of a year.

This meeting is not just for Havelock. It is for the thousands of people he thrilled across 30 years of ripping round bends from his hometown of Middlesbrough all the way down to the Dorset coast.

It is for the multitude of colleagues, managers, promoters and friends that want to make sure their sport gives a true icon the recognition his service undoubtedly deserves.

Former world champion Chris Holder, speedway’s king in the making Darcy Ward and European champion Martin Vaculik were among those to clear their diaries for the date.

Why? Because even after a world title, two British championships and a glittering career which included serving his country with distinction, Havelock’s never-say-die attitude saw him fight for 10 months to save his speedway career at the ripe old age of 43.

Those hearty levels of guts and spirit always go down well in speedway – what a shame those at the top of the sport lack a similar resolve.

As for Sky, my money would be on more viewers being interested in Havelock’s night with a multitude of world stars than the season’s curtain raiser.

Maybe it’s not just the BSPA who are missing the point...