Sheffield Tigers: Ricky Ashworth set for emotional return to Owlerton
Ricky Ashworth, the fastest man ever around Owlerton, will make an emotional return to the track on two wheels this Sunday at their opening meeting of the season (4pm).
Ashworth, a legend with Sheffield, saw his career ended in a horror crash five years ago which left him brain damaged.
But in a remarkable story, he has taken to riding a tandem and completed laps at the velodrome in Manchester which attracted national headlines.
He did the same at Leicester on Sunday to launch the charity meeting in aid of the Speedway Riders Benevolent Fund.
Now he will do four laps of Owlerton for the first time since his career ended – and he almost lost his life.
Tigers co-promoter Damien Bates said: “I think everyone is inspired and amazed by Ricky and what he’s achieved.
“We all remember the dark days in the aftermath of his crash and it’s been a long, hard road for him and his family.
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“Seeing him back on two wheels brings a tear to the eye and he’s delighted with the prospect of doing some laps at Sheffield where he remains the track record holder!
“It just adds to the anticipation for our first meeting of the season, we can’t wait for it to start and we remind everyone the gates open at 2pm and Sunday lunch will be available.
“We are hoping to make a big day of it, it’s our 90th anniversary meeting so we want it to be a celebration and how apt that we have the track record holder here doing some laps after almost losing his life back in 2013. It’s a great story.”
All seven Tigers riders will be in action along with a host of big names including double World Long Track Champion Erik Riss, French World Cup star David Bellego and GB international Steve Worrall.
New Tigers signing Danny King finished third in his first meeting back since last summer after he suffered serious nerve damage.
He scored 12 points in the Ben Fund Bonanza and other Tigers riders Kasper Andersen scored six and new boy Zaine Kennedy five. The meeting was won by Scott Nicholls who has just joined Premiership Wolves.