Blackpool's gone to the dogs: Back to the days of greyhound racing

Greyhound Dinkie from the Blackpool greyhound stable of George Goodwin with a guide dog, in 1982
Greyhound Dinkie from the Blackpool greyhound stable of George Goodwin with a guide dog, in 1982

It’s a dog’s life! Or at least it used to be when greyhound racing was in its heyday from the 1960s to 1990s on the Fylde coast.

Our archive pictures give a taste of the action down on the track and take a look back at some of the area’s racing favourites.

Freeway, shown in two of our photos, (also known as M6 – racing name) was rescued from the motorway near Skelmersdale during a thunderstorm – found bleeding and bedraggled, by Pilling farmer Malclom Selby. He had both ears cut off and need stitches to wounds on his body and feet. He was adopted by greyhound racing trainer Mr Hadfield and, after rest and intensive training, he won hearts and trophies wherever he went.

He made a comeback on the track in 1981, having been retrained by Gaynor Dagnall, and he died peacefully in his kennel in 1982.

George Gooch is shown exercising his greyhounds on an October morning at Hambleton, in 1968.

Two-and-a-half-year-old greyhound bitch Dinkie, from the Blackpool greyhound stable of George Goodwin, wondered who the visitor was in September 1982. Gazette readers were invited to name the 15-week-old labrador cross retriever, owned by Mrs Carole Turner of Kirkham, who was a puppy for the Guide Dogs For the Blind Association. Blackpool Greyhound Stadium, Cashaide and Blackpool entertainer King Junior, had set out to raise £1,000 to provide a guide dog for a blind person.

Ian Pearson, of Stirling, is pictured in August 1983, with his greyhound Smooth Runner, winner of the 1983 Greyhound Derby at the Blackpool Greyhound Stadium. From left: Alec Bennett, Peter Watkins both of Whitbread, Frank Boyle (executive director of the greyhound stadium) and Mr Pearson.

And Revoe Prince, winner of the La Sonnelle Rose Bowl 1983, is shown at Blackpool Greyhound Stadium.

George Gooch exercises his greyhounds on an October morning at Hambleton, in 1968

George Gooch exercises his greyhounds on an October morning at Hambleton, in 1968

Greyhound racing in Blackpool, in 1981

Greyhound racing in Blackpool, in 1981

Five dogs begin the battle for honours at Blackpool Greyhound Stadium, in 1975

Five dogs begin the battle for honours at Blackpool Greyhound Stadium, in 1975

Greyhound racing at the Princess Street Stadium in Blackpool, in 1987

Greyhound racing at the Princess Street Stadium in Blackpool, in 1987

Revoe Prince, winner of the La Sonnelle Rose Bowl at Blackpool Greyhound Stadium, in 1983

Revoe Prince, winner of the La Sonnelle Rose Bowl at Blackpool Greyhound Stadium, in 1983

Freeway (also known as M6 - racing name)

Freeway (also known as M6 - racing name)

Gaynor Dagnall with greyhound M6 (Freeway) in 1981

Gaynor Dagnall with greyhound M6 (Freeway) in 1981

Ian Pearson with Smooth Runner, winner of the 1983 Greyhound Derby

Ian Pearson with Smooth Runner, winner of the 1983 Greyhound Derby