Fans favourite Cooper on comeback trail

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POPULAR Paul Cooper continues his bid to rebuild his career when he takes his place in the joint Sheffield and Scunthorpe National League team for tonight’s double header at Owlerton.

Cooper suffered serious multiple injuries in a Grass Track crash last August and early indications were his career was over.

But the brave York-based rider, who scored three points in last week’s British semi-final, has defied the doctors and is back on a bike.

He takes the number one racejacket for the Saints in a busy night of racing which sees them face Buxton at 7pm followed immediately by Stoke.

The earlier start time is because 30 races have to be accommodated by the 10pm curfew.

Saints also include Tigers star Ashley Birks and Stoke will have Tigers reserve Simon Lambert leading their charge.

Sheffield owner Neil Machin said: “Paul [Cooper] remains a firm favourite with our fans here at Owlerton and I’m sure they want to see him do well in this double header.

“Everyone here wants to see him return to the rider he was before his crash, he’s very determined and riding in the National League can only help him.

“It’s going to be a good night with 30 races and the team are looking very powerful at National League level. I feel sure they can be in the mix for honours at the end of the season.

“They’ll be looking for the maximum six points on offer against Buxton and Stoke although our very own Simon Lambert will have something to say about that riding in Stoke colours.”

Ashley Birks is backing the side to go all the way this year.

He said: “Team-wise we have three strong heat leaders now and there’s a growing optimism right through the side, right down to the reserves.

“Last season we were down at the wrong end of the table but this time around it’s different and if we can get two good wins this week and keep that level of form up then we can win this league.”