OXFORD Cheetahs team manager Jason Crump dedicated tonight’s fixture against Scunthorpe Scorpions to the people who brought speedway back to the city.

Oxford Stadium hosts its first competitive meeting for 15 years, having undergone a regeneration since Kevin Boothby secured a lease last June.

Speedway fans had tirelessly campaigned for the venue to reopen, and Crump paid tribute to everyone who made tonight possible.

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He said: “It’s huge for the city and huge for speedway.

“It’s the culmination of a lot of hard work by a lot of people and it hasn’t just happened overnight.

“I was at Berwick with the Chargers and it was really cool.

“I said to them they were the first to race for Oxford Speedway in the new era.”

“I’m sure every single fan and rider wants to start off with a win.

“But the winner is the speedway public of Oxford, to have it back after so long means everyone involved is a winner.”

The three-time world champion used to watch his father, Phil, race at Sandy Lane.

Crump’s new role arguably completes his speedway journey and he enjoyed guiding Oxford Chargers in their National Development League opener at Berwick Bullets last Saturday, despite the 50-40 defeat.

He said: “It was really exciting to be a team manager for the first time.

“It’s not quite as nerve-wracking as being a rider, but you definitely feel more responsibility.

“It felt like I was sending my kids out to race.”