Oxford Stadium owner Kevin Boothby has announced plans for a wellness centre and community cafe to tie in with the return of greyhound racing and speedway in 2022.

Here we look at stadium photos from previous years.

The return of greyhound racing will be a boost to punters who enjoyed the sport in Oxford for more than 70 years.Oxford Mail:

Crowds would gather at Oxford Stadium at Cowley several evenings a week, hoping their dog would bring them a few pounds – or even a fortune – from the bookies.

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Now, entrepreneur Kevin Boothby, who has secured a 10-year lease on the stadium, hopes racing will resume in 2022 after a 10-year gap.

Oxford Mail:

The stadium was built in 1938 on the site of a ‘flapping’ (non-regulated) track, where owners could race their greyhounds round an oval on selected days.

Lord Denham officially opened the stadium on the first race night on March 31, 1939.

The stadium closed for most of the Second World War, but occasionally opened for Saturday afternoon racing.

Oxford Mail:

One of the wartime attractions was ‘The Gunner’, an Irish Grand National winner, bought by the stadium boss Leslie Calcutt.

It won 11 successive races, drawing in large crowds.

Post-war progress was threatened with Calcutt’s sudden death in 1952, aged just 49, but success continued when Bristol Stadium, of which he had been director, took over.

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The stadium continued to flourish in the 1960s, but there was more unease when the company offered to sell the site in 1975 to Oxford City Council for £235,000 for housing.

An SOS (Save our Stadium) group was formed and 27,000 people signed a petition against the plan.

Oxford Mail:

Eventually, the stadium was saved when Northern Sports bought it for £250,000.

The company invested £1.5m in the 1980s on a grandstand restaurant and sports centre, including squash courts, a snooker club, gymnasium and sauna, attracting more and more people.

Oxford Cheetahs’ speedway team, which also competed at the stadium, added to the success as three-times British champions in 1985, 1986 and 1989.

However, in 1995, Northern Sports’ parent company called in the receivers.

The stadium was bought by Donald Joyce, a former SOS member, who sold it in 1999 to the Greyhound Racing Association.

Oxford Mail:

After further upheaval, plans for housing were revived, but the council said it wanted to keep the site for leisure.

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Greyhound racing continued until December 29, 2012 when the stadium finally closed.

A capacity crowd watched as Moorstown Mystiq won the final race.

Now the stadium could reopen in 2022.