Emotional time for title winning Sheffield speedway ace

Josh Bates with the trophy after Sheffield Tigers win rhe championship. Pic: Phil Hilton
Josh Bates with the trophy after Sheffield Tigers win rhe championship. Pic: Phil Hilton
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Barnsley boy Josh Bates will remember this year for the rest of his life.

Bates, who only a week ago suffered a suspected serious neck injury at Glasgow, played a major role in Tigers winning their first league title in 15 years.

He notched nine-points in the 46-44 win at Ipswich in the Grand Final decider on the back of a 13-pt haul in the first leg.

And he says winning the title means a lot to the family – including uncles Marc and Damien who run the club alongside Peter Mole. “Sheffield’s my home club; it goes way back in our family history” said an emotional Bates.

“Lots of relatives used to watch Sheffield speedway when they were kids and now my uncles own it so it does mean that little bit more to me. It’s honestly one of the best feelings of my life.

“This year has just been so amazing for me and it’s one I’ll remember forever. Not only have I won the league with Sheffield at last, but I raced in the Grand Prix at Cardiff earlier in the year too and beat a couple of good riders.

“Away from speedway too, my girlfriend gave birth and I’m actually filling up a bit now I’m thinking just how good this year has been!”

Sheffield host the Championship Pairs on Sunday with doubts over Josh Grajczonek.

He crashed win the Grand Final first leg.

If he doesn’t make it Tigers will be represented by Kyle Howarth and Lasse Bjerre.