SIMON Stead has completed a sensational return to Owlerton – a decade after he left the club.
Stead, born and bred in Sheffield, won two Premier League titles with the Tigers in 1999 and 2002 before moving on to Workington and then stepping into the Elite League. Now he is set for an emotional return in a move which is seen as a huge boost for both rider and club.
Born at Jessops Hospital in Sheffield, Stead attended Ecclesfield Junior School and Penistone Grammar before moving into Speedway as a full-time professional. He won the Elite League title with Swindon last season and is all set to double-up with a new top flight club.
Stead combined his Swindon duties with working at the family car dealership, Eric Stead Garages in Ecclesfield.
Stead said: “This is a dream move for me, I can’t tell you how good this feels. I’m coming home. I had a fabulous time when I last rode for Sheffield - the fans were brilliant. I haven’t been able to get down to Owlerton as much over the last 10 years because I’ve been racing a lot on a Thursday.
“I know they had a tough time of it last season and I hope my arrival will help get a bit more interest amongst the fans. I want to play my part in getting this club back where it belongs and that is amongst the top teams in the Premier League.
“It’s also a good opportunity for me to bring friends to Speedway and attract new sponsors. The stadium facilities are awesome and I want to entertain sponsors. It was disappointing to be released by Swindon but these things happen. The positive aspect is I’m now able to come back to Sheffield and also ride in the Elite League, so I’m probably going to have less time working at the Garage!
“I’m looking forward to it and I hope all the Sheffield fans are going to come down and get behind us when the season starts.”
Sheffield co-promoter David Hoggart is delighted to get his man. He said: “Simon has been more than reasonable in our negotiations and we are delighted to welcome him back to the club. As with every rider, extra sponsorship would be a massive help and the door is open for businesses and individuals to join the party. Hopefully the return of Simon, who was riding for Great Britain in the World Cup only 18 months ago, will be a shot in the arm for Sheffield speedway.”