Sheffield Tigers have won the race to snap up one of British Speedway’s hottest prospects.
West Yorkshire teenager Jack Parkinson-Blackburn is to sign a declaration of intent to become a full asset of the Owlerton club when he turns 16 - putting pen to paper at tonight’s Premier League clash with Redcar.
It’s a major boost for Sheffield who already have British U21 champion Josh Bates on the books. Parkinson-Blackburn, 15, has been piling up the points for title chasing Birmingham in the National League – and in an ironic twist he will ride for Tigers when they face Cradley in next Thursday’s NL Challenge.
He said: “I’ve had a couple of Premier League teams as well as a couple of clubs in the Elite League who have been in touch about signing me.
“But as soon as Sheffield showed an interest there was only ever going to be one club I’d choose. I’ve always wanted to ride for Sheffield; I’ve been going there with my family as a fan before I could even walk, they’ve been the team I’ve watched growing up and I’ve been their mascot too so this really is a dream come true.
“This is massive news for me as a 15-year-old local lad but one thing I can guarantee people is that I won’t let it change me.
“I’ll stay level headed and I’ll keep my feet on the ground; it’s something that I’ve always dreamt about and it’s just a massive opportunity for me. I was ambitious anyway, but this has made me want to achieve big things even more. It’s given me a next level to aim for and it’s all about taking small steps which will hopefully lead you towards the top further down the line.”
Jason Garrity has been advised to take a week off following an arm injury sustained in the British Final and aggravated at Leicester when guesting for the Lions.
Redcar include David Bellego, who was a popular member of the Sheffield side during a brief spell with the club last season, and Tigers asset Hugh Skidmore.
SHEFFIELD: Simon Stead, Jason Garrity R/R, Kyle Howarth, Josh Bates, Dimitri Berge, Arthur Sissis, Nathan Greaves.
REDCAR: Lasse Bjerre, Jonas B Andersen, Hugh Skidmore, Tobias Busch, David Bellego, Simon Nielsen, Lee Payne.