DAVE Orford, 77, the pioneering cycle racing promoter and former pro from Derby, who has long campaigned for Britain?s former stars to receive due recognition, was pleasantly surprised to learn this week that the spotlight has been turned on him.

Derbyshire County Council are to award him an ?Excellence in the Community Awards 2007?
in honour of past achievements. They include, Orford says, ?creating the best ever sponsorship deal for our sport ? ever. i.e. The Milk Race.?

That sponsorship ran for over three decades.

Orford also won the ?Age Concern Award? for the best event in sport for older people. This was the World Cup Veteran TT Championship series between 1990-1996. He more recently engaged with his MP Patrick McLoughlin to deal with safety issues on the A5012 Via Gellia, the scene of many serious accidents. The matter was raised in Parliament.

Orford?s dream is to create a Derbyshire Hall of Fame, for the county?s greatest sportsmen and women, such as yachtswomen Ellen McArthur and football legend Brian Clough.

Backing Orford in his campaign is former Olympic and world record holder marathon runner, Arthur Keily, 83. But Orford remains disappointed with his cycling compatriots who fight shy of media attention.

?Generally, they are so insular and parochial. At a recent award to sports people in Derby, I was the only representative from cycling ? even the guys I had nominated for an award didn?t go! Whereas all the other sports were there in vast numbers, as it was held at our great stadium, ?Pride Park?, home or Derby County.?

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