Cooper back on track after horror crash

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PAUL Cooper is back in Speedway – just seven months after a career threatening crash.

The hugely popular Sheffield rider has agreed to race for the Scunthorpe National League team who will race some of their home meetings at Owlerton in the coming campaign.

He’s been training on Scunthorpe’s track in recent weeks and has started to feel much better on the bike to the extent that he is ready to race regularly. Now he makes a return to the third tier of the sport where, ironically, he raced for Scunthorpe previously in the early stages of his career.

Last August Cooper suffered head and neck injuries in a horrifying high speed crash in Kent during a Grasstrack meeting.

He’s made rapid progress since the turn of the year in his recovery and made a return to full-time work before Christmas.

He said: “I’m feeling good and it’s nice to have this opportunity to get some laps in. I’ve felt better every time I’ve been back on the bike and I’m looking forward to the start of the season.

“I feel I have the chance to prove a few people wrong. Although nobody has said it to me directly, I think I’ve been written off and the phone never rang from a Premier League club during the winter because they were probably under the impression I wasn’t fit.

“I’ve already proved to myself that I’m fit and ready to race because of the laps I have put in at Scunthorpe and I’m physically fit as well.

“Now I want to do well in the National League and prove to people that I’m up for the challenge of winning a Premier League place somewhere.”

Tigers owner Neil Machin said: “We are delighted to see ‘Coops’ get a chance of regular racing and we sincerely hope it goes well for the lad.

“He’s a popular character here at Sheffield and we would like to see him fixed up in the Premier League once the season starts.”