Painting to raise money for Lol

IPSWICH speedway fans will never forget Billy Sanders.Many today still name the Aussie ace as their all-time favourite and his role in the victorious Witches side of the 70s will always be remembered.

IPSWICH speedway fans will never forget Billy Sanders.

Many today still name the Aussie ace as their all-time favourite and his role in the victorious Witches side of the 70s will always be remembered.

Now Evening Star readers have the chance to own a painting of Billy – and at the same time help another speedway rider, Lol Hare, who has been left crippled by a terrifying high-speed crash.

The picture has been given to the Star to raise money for our appeal to help pay for Lol's future needs.

It was discovered some years ago in Billy's home in Trimley St Mary and since then has sat unwanted in the attic of a Felixstowe estate agents.

Richard Bannister, of Bannister and Co estate agents and valuers, Hamilton Road, discovered the artwork when doing some clearing out.

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"When we sold Billy's house in Faulkeners Way after his death, the new owners of the property came back to us after they had moved in and said they had found this painting in the loft," said Mr Bannister.

"We contacted the family's solicitors and the speedway club but no-one quite knew what to do about the painting or seemed to want it.

"We hung on to it and put it into storage and have just found it again. It would be wonderful if it could help raise some money to help Lol Hare – one speedway rider helping another in need."

The painting by Karen Hickisson is believed to have been a gift to Billy on the night of his testimonial meeting at Foxhall.

Billy came to England from Australia as a 16 year old in 1972 and helped the Witches to league and knock-out cup triumphs.

He matured into one of the best riders Australia has produced, becoming world number three and winning the Australian championship six times, including four times in a row, and stayed with the Witches for most of his career. Tragically, he committed suicide in 1985.

The Evening Star is auctioning the painting of Billy – and to own the treasured painting of the rider people need to write in with their "bid" for it. It will go to the highest bidder, with the money going to the fund to help Lol, who was left paralysed after a crash last month while riding for Exeter Falcons.

Bids, plus name and address, must be sent in an envelope marked "Billy Sanders Painting" to Evening Star Newsdesk, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN. Closing date is June 7.

n Tickets are on sale for a family fun day to be held at Trimley Sports and Social Club in aid of the Evening Star's Lol Hare fund.

The event is being organised by Lol's relative Sandra Cook, who hopes to raise £1,000 from the event on Sunday June 30.

The day starts at 3pm with a barbecue and disco, and games and entertainment for the children. Then at 7pm, band The Quilted Cherry will be playing. Tickets are £4.50 for adults and £1 for children, both including burgers, and can be bought from Sandra on 01394 671107 or Dorne Ball on 01394 210372.

"We are a close family and the accident has been devastating for us all. I would love to raise £1,000 to help. A local taxi driver has offered to donate his night's takings and we hope the fun day will be a success," said Sandra.

Anyone able to help with a bouncy castle, face painting or other children's entertainment is asked to ring Sandra.