THE glory days of greyhound racing could soon be back in Bolton.

A group of enthusiasts will meet next week to launch a fresh bid to revive the sport in the area.

They will debate a number of potential sites for a new racing track with the input of experts from Belle Vue Speedway.

Among the sites that will be up for discussion is land in the Middlebrook area.

The meeting marks the latest bid to re-introduce the sport to Bolton following the closure of the Raikes Lane greyhound track in 1996.

It is being organised by Tony Foden, who played a key part in the successful bid to save the smaller Westhoughton dog track, in Wigan Road, from being developed into homes in 2004.

Mr Foden, a retired businessman, said: "There is still a lot of passion for dog racing in Bolton and Raikes Lane has been sorely missed since it was closed controversially.

"Our plans are very much in their infancy at the moment and we need to look at various things, including location and how this could be financed. But we know there is and would be a lot of interest in a new track.

"We have spoken to Bolton councillors in the past who have expressed their support for a new racetrack and are planning to approach Bolton Council with a view to them suggesting a few potential sites."

The original Raikes Lane racing track opened in 1927 when a Mr A Pilkington's Conally Lass won the 7pm race on December 10.

The track became the fourth to open in Britain and it was placed on the site of an old colliery.

It closed in 1996 after 69 years, leaving 60 workers - 13 full-time and 47 part-time - redundant.

Former greyhound trainer, Albert Fearne, aged 78, of York Avenue, Little Lever, said: "To bring back a dog track would be very beneficial to the town.

"It is something for the whole family to enjoy. It wouldn't just bring social benefits to Bolton, but financial benefits too."

The meeting will be held at Rumworth Labour Club on Tuesday, April 1 at 7pm.