Hare is one of the nicest in speedway

IN a sport full of genuine people, Lawrence Hare is one of the nicest.His quietly spoken, mild-mannered persona off the track is in contrast to the aggression he shows on the speedway track in a career that has spanned 13 years.

By Elvin King

IN a sport full of genuine people, Lawrence Hare is one of the nicest.

His quietly spoken, mild-mannered persona off the track is in contrast to the aggression he shows on the speedway track in a career that has spanned 13 years.

He rode briefly for Ipswich in 1991 before having a full season with the Foxhall Stadium-based club in 2000.

His other clubs include Oxford, Edinburgh and Exeter, and he was a big favourite wherever he rode.

Evening Star Witches skipper Chris Louis grew up riding a bike with Hare, and today paid this tribute.

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"The local speedway world is stunned," said Louis, who suffered a potentially fatal head injury riding in Poland on June 24 last year.

"It has affected a lot of people and I have been inundated with calls for news. We started grass-track riding together as schoolboys and it was Lol who persuaded me to move to moto-cross.

"When I moved to speedway in 1988, Lol switched soon afterwards. When I suffered my injuries last year I did not know what was going on for two days.

"I was unconscious for much of the time. When I came round after a couple of days the worst danger was over.

"Lol faces a much different battle to the one I faced when I was in a hospital bed. Everybody at Ipswich Witches wishes him well and I will be touch as soon as possible."

The Royal Gwent Hospital has requested that only family visitors make their way to the hospital, with the Hare family having driven from Ipswich to be by the bedside on Sunday.

It was because he had time for everybody and appreciated that it is the fans who pay at the turnstile who make speedway a success that he was such a popular rider.

And not just with his army of fans. He was also popular with his team mates and opponents. Off the track he ran a successful business.

But speedway was his first love with his dad John and brother Stuart often in the pits and helping with the travelling to all parts of the country. When your 'home' tracks are Exeter or Edinburgh, you have to spend a lot of time on the road.

But that does not worry Lol. He is happy to give his best and distance does not matter if he is giving pleasure to spectators.

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