Thumbs-up from Machin for new Tigers consortium

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Neil Machin has given the new consortium who will take over at Sheffield his seal of approval.

Machin has agreed to sell the Premier League club to a group of business people fronted by current Tigers co-promoter David Hoggart.

And he says it’s good news both for the club and for British Speedway in general with some new people with fresh enthusiasm joining the sport.

“The new people will be good for Sheffield Speedway and will take the club forward, I have no doubt about that,” said Machin who will stand down after 21 seasons. “David Hoggart is the ideal guy to front the group: he has all the enthusiasm and drive I had when I first took over and it goes without saying I wish them all well.

“I will be visiting Owlerton on a regular basis and, for the first time, I intend to have dinner in the restaurant and come and go as I want. I might even fill a race card in. I’m going to start enjoying my speedway again.”

And Machin has paid tribute to his loyal “family” of track staff, past and present, for helping him through an amazing journey.

“I’m proud of my record; I’ve staged 649 speedway meetings at one of the best venues in British Speedway,” he said. “And I couldn’t have done that without the support of one massive family.

“I’m thinking of absent friends who helped make it so enjoyable, people like Darren and Sharon Boocock, Roy and Betty Wilson, Rob Woffinden, Tim Lucking, Ken Spooner and Peter Currie. A lot of those people sadly died within a short space of time and I have dealt with that in my own way. The staff at Sheffield Speedway have helped the club gain a fabulous reputation as one of the best and most professional in the sport.

“From the turnstile operators, to the pits staff, to the track guys and licenced officials, they will all remain personal friends of mine. I am most grateful to all of them.

“I have fallen out of love with the politics of speedway but I have certainly not fallen out with Sheffield Speedway. I will be there supporting the team like every other fan.”