Revealed: the men behind the new era at city’s speedway

Sheffield Consortium member Damien Bates
Sheffield Consortium member Damien Bates
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Barnsley based Damien Bates is to hand in an application to become a club co-promoter at Sheffield.

Bates, 32, will work alongside Owlerton boss David Hoggart who pulled the new consortium together to take over from Neil Machin.

Former Newport promoter Peter Mole, a dentist in the West Midlands, is part of the group along with accountant and photographer Simon Parker.

And Bates has revealed how it’s an amazing turn of events after he first watched Sheffield at the time Machin rescued the club in 1992.

He said: “My Dad took me to Owlerton when Neil had first bought it, that was the first time I had been to watch Sheffield as a kid. As a group we have a lot of enthusiasm, we have some fresh ideas and we are happy to listen to the fans – they’ve already given us some good feedback on social media.

“We are going to revamp the race jacket, we are looking to changing the music in our presentation and will work tirelessly to get out there and promote the name of Sheffield Speedway once again. Neil did a fabulous job, but things weren’t easy over the last couple of seasons. We need to inject some passion and desire back into the place.

“The club will apply for me to become a promoter, I’m pleased about that because I’m based locally and David is extremely busy with other roles he has right now, so I can help out. I’ve got the time to put into the role, we are already raising funds for the new air barrier and things seem to be heading in the right direction.”

The deal was completed earlier this week and members of the new consortium will meet supporters at a meeting tonight at the nearby New Barrack Tavern.

Hoggart will retain his role on the sport’s management committee as well as co-ordinating the major events and working on his Sheffield duties.

British great Joe Screen was unveiled as the new team manager last month in an exciting move for the club.