Speedway: Tigers hero Simon Stead ready for star-studded swansong
Hometown hero Simon Stead will bring the curtain down on his glittering career in Sheffield on Sunday (4pm).
Grand Prix stars past and present, including current world champion Jason Doyle, will be among the big names to descend upon Owlerton Stadium for Stead’s Last Lap.
It promises to be a magnificent occasion to celebrate the career of one of the most popular riders to ever don a Tigers’ race jacket.
The local lad has won league titles, represented Great Britain on numerous occasions and won a dramatic Premier League Riders’ Championship in front of his home fans.
But he says making those closest to him proud is the greatest achievement of his career.
“I’m really proud,” said Stead. “I don’t think anyone can ever look back and have no regrets whatsoever, and there are probably a few things I would’ve done differently but as a whole I’ve had great success.
“The amount of injuries I’ve had to contend with has probably hampered my progress at the most significant times.
“But I’ve had a lot of success at junior level, winning the British Under 21 title three times, and the amount of trophies I’ve won for the clubs I’ve ridden for is very proud for me to look back on.
“I won the Premier League Riders’ Final, represented my country and I’ve ridden in World Cup Finals which not very many people get to do.
“I’m grateful for the people I’ve met and the life it has given me for almost 20 years, so I can certainly look back with a sense of achievement.
“If I’ve made the people close to me proud, then that’s what it is all about.
“I am looking forward to Sunday and I’ve been really pleased with the response to it.
“I’ve had a great response from the riders, all coming together and enabling me to put such a great line-up together.
“There has been a great response from the fans as well, it’s gone down well with them so fingers crossed we get a nice day, some good racing, a big crowd and everyone can go home safely.”
The winner will pick up a brand new GM engine worth in excess of £3,000.
LINE-UP: Hans Andersen, David Bellego, Lasse Bjerre, Jason Doyle, Chris Harris, Kyle Howarth, Niels-Kristian Iversen, Peter Kildemand, Danny King, Todd Kurtz, Sam Masters, Krystian Pieszczek, Arron Summers, Martin Vaculik.