SPEEDWAY News

(SPEEDWAY 1)

THE speedway world is rallying round to help stricken rider Ricky Ashworth.The 31-year-old former racer is currently fighting to recover from debilitating injuries caused when he crashed while racing for Berwick at Scunthorpe 17 months ago. Ricky won his fight for life after spending 91 days in a coma in Hull Royal Infirmary — and now he faces another long-term battle, to lead as normal a life as possible. He is the first modern-day rider to be left with brain injuries after an accident.A benefit meeting will be held at Sheffield next March to launch the Owlerton season and organisers are hoping that the proceeds will be enough to build a special facility at his parents' home in Salford.Said benefit committee spokesman Ian Hunter, a long-time sponsor and close friend of Ricky's: “He is thankfully still with us but he is still not well. “He has a brain injury and most people don't realise how serious it is. What's happened is 100 per cent tragic. The total reality is that this is possibly as good as it's going to get for him.“You feel extremely sad for Ricky and his family. They're so close and everything revolves around Ricky right now and trying to make his life that little bit better,“What he needs is his own space at the family home. The family home in Salford isn't big but there is room to build a ground floor bedroom and a wet room with specialist equipment.“That would give him some independence and obviously aid his recovery. We're hoping that riders and fans will support next March's meeting to enable us to do that for him.“The speedway family - riders and supporters - is fantastic and we've already had tremendous support. Hopefully we'll get a lot more."The meeting, Ricky's BIG Day, will be at Sheffield on Sunday, March 22 and a special video has been filmed by GRT Media at Ricky's home. You can catch it at http://bit.ly/RickyAshworthAnyone wanting to help Ricky in any way, including advertising in his special race day programme, can contact his benefit committee at juliereading22@btinternet.com

(SPEEDWAY 2)

LEICESTER have signed World Under-21 bronze medallist Mikkel Michelsen to leave just two places to be filled in their 2015 line-up.Michelsen, 20, joins after spending the last season and a half with Eastbourne who are not competing in the top flight next year.Lions boss Norrie Allan said: “Mikkel did very well in his first full season in the Elite League and quickly showed his pedigree with a string of impressive performances. He is one of the top riders of his age group and will come into the side on a 6.02 match average which will place him in either the number 2 or 4 position in the team. “That will give us a quality rider to have on such an attractive average, and I see Mikkel building upon last season’s figures. I would like to thank the Eastbourne management and in particular Trevor Geer who was helpful during the negotiations.”(SPEEDWAY 3)

OLLY Allen is bidding to guide Peterborough to Premier League glory again - 17 years after last helping them to the title.Allen was a budding teenager enjoying his breakthrough season when part of the last Panthers side to rule supreme in the second tier back in 1998, and now he returns as the club's No.1 rider for 2015 after a successful season with Somerset.Peterborough chief Ged Rathbone said: “Peterborough has always been a special club to Olly after he came through the junior system and started out in senior speedway here.“He knows what it takes to win the Premier League and it would be absolutely fantastic if he could help us to challenge for the title. He jumped at the chance to return and we are absolutely delighted to have completed a deal for one of the best riders in the Premier League.”

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REDCAR have completed their 2015 team-building by announcing Richard Hall’s return to the South Tees Motorsports Park.Hall started last season with the Bears but lost his place following a suspension imposed for an on-track altercation at Scunthorpe. He then had a brief spell with former club Peterborough, with whom he won the Elite League title in 2006.

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CRADLEY have moved for teenager Luke Harris after impressing the club’s management in guest appearances this year.Harris, who turned 16 last month, will start the season on a 3.17 average from his early-season spell with Kent, and joins Nathan Greaves and Mike Neale in the revamped Heathens side.He said: “I couldn't believe the amount of support for Cradley when I raced for them last season and I'm absolutely delighted to be riding for such a prestigious club with an amazing tradition.“The management impressed me with their professionalism but it was really the fan base which made me want to ride for the club. I could have looked for a club closer to home in the south, but having ridden for Cradley my mind was made up.”


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