Crayford Greyhound Track
The Crayford and Bexleyheath stadium closed on 18th May 1985 and work began on the new stadium on a different part of the site. The grand opening took place on 1st September 1986 and the new stadium would be called Crayford after the decision was made to drop the Bexleyheath part, whereas the previous stadium sat on a twenty acre site, the new one would only cover five acres and include a sports complex.
In 1987 Crayford took possession of the Golden Jacket after spells at Hall Green and Monmore. Harringay had held the event in the afternoon and it was very popular due to the television exposure of the event. Crayford also provided a new matinee meeting for their Ladbrokes betting shops. Another new competition called the Crayford Rosebowl was inaugurated and hurdles became very popular at the track.
The dimensions of the all-sand circuit were a small 334m circumference with distances of 380, 540, 714 and 874 metres with an outside Sumner hare. Facilities included a restaurant for 138 covers, two bars and a twin-tier glass fronted covered stand.
Also within the stadium was a sports hall complex, a fitness area and a swimming pool.
Several of the old Crayford & Bexleyheath trainers had found new homes including Linda Mullins moving on to Romford and John Honeysett joining Wembley but Dink Luckhurst, John Gibbons and Terry O’Sullivan returned. The Racing Manager was Roy Dwight and General Manager Roy Lakey soon to be replaced by Paul Lawrence and Barry Stanton respectively.
Dinky Luckhurst trained Breeks Rocket to Grand National success in 1988 and eight years later Dynamic Display repeated the achievement for Barry O’Sullivan.
The likes of Jim Reynolds and Lorraine Sams were attracted to the stadium in the early nineties and in the late nineties Crayford saw further noteworthy performances. Pure Patches won the 1998 Gold Collar and also made the 1999 Derby final. Two consecutive Cesarewitch wins in 1999 & 2000 by Bubbly Prince and Lady Jean kept Crayford in the limelight and Haughty Ted won the Gold Collar in 2001 for Dink Luckhurst.
The Guys and Dolls competition arrived at the track in 1997 but in 2000 the track lost their Racing Manager as Paul Lawrence parted company with them in a shock move, he was replaced by deputy Harry Bull, Danny Rayment was promoted to deputy racing manager.
Ken Tester and Steve Gammon both joined the track following the closures of Wembley and then Catford. Two daughters took over from their long serving fathers; Julie Luckhurst replaced Dink in 2006 and Gemma Davidson from John who sadly passed away in 2010. Former Crayford bookmaker Tony Morris retired in 2009.
Another Grand National wins by the Gemma Davidson trained Plane Daddy continued Crayford’s relationship with hurdle racing and Lorraine Sams introduced a greyhound to the industry in 2006 called Spiridon Louis. The black and white dog would become the 2007 greyhound of the year after winning the St Leger, TV Trophy and Regency.
The summer of 2015 brought two significant changes; the first was the appointment of Dean Childs from Hove and the second was the return of the Guys and Dolls competition which had ended back in 2008.