Neil Machin has spoken of his pride in seeing Tai Woffinden becoming Britain’s first world champion in 13 years.
Woffinden, who lived in Sheffield last year, is Machin’s godson and he made the journey along with Tigers legends Doug Wyer, Reg Wilson and Craig Pendlebury to Poland at the weekend.
The 23-year-old was crowned champion after winning Heat 5 ahead of Jarek Hampel. And Machin said: “I was delighted and thought Tai did a fantastic job because Hampel looked very fast in his first ride. I remember when Tai rode his first Premier League meeting as a 16-year-old for Sheffield back in 2006 and, of course, I have followed his career ever since.
“I have been a close friend of the Woffinden family for 20 years and it was a savage blow when Tai’s Dad, Rob, passed away. But he did everything possible to set his lad up to make it to the top and I hope he is looking down on him with pride. It’s a remarkable story. I visited the Woffindens every winter in Australia when they moved there and to see him come back to the UK and develop into world champion is very touching.
“It’s brought a bit of sunshine back into my speedway life after what has been a difficult year. I hope British Speedway can build on this with the increased exposure and it reminds us all what a great sport this can be.”
Tigers have wrapped up their season and Machin is looking for offers to take over the club before the AGM next month.