SHANE Parker has revealed how his move to Sheffield almost never happened.
Parker, who stages his farewell meeting at Owlerton on Sunday week, March 18, was an instant hit with Tigers fans in his one and only season with the club.
They made it clear last October they wanted him to reconsider his plans to retire but the Australian showman is sticking by his decision and will head home after over 20 years racing in the UK.
Parker admits he was expecting to be back at Somerset after a successful spell at the Oak Tree Arena rather than riding for his parent club last year.
He said: “I enjoyed Somerset, it was a challenge, I hoped I would be going back there. I enjoyed myself that much, I wanted to go back but unfortunately I didn’t figure in their plans, which was a little bit of a shock.
“I made some good friends there also, got a great sponsor in Mark Saunders, ‘Sharpie’, and so I ended up at Sheffield after all those years of them owning me.
“It was a little bit weird. I had done a deal with another club, but I’m glad I ended up at Sheffield. It’s a track I’d say in the past I’ve never really enjoyed. It’s a bit of an engine killer, one of the fastest tracks in the country.
“It probably took me about a month to get dialled in, but once I was dialled in to the track, I wished I’d been there for a lot of years.”
Parker’s meeting includes current World Champion Greg Hancock and a host of top Grand Prix stars and is set to pull in a bumper crowd.