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Safety campaign gets new backing

PUBLISHED: 20:00 06 May 2002 | UPDATED: 11:52 03 March 2010

FORMER England team manager Jim Easter backed The Evening Star's campaign to introduce safety fencing at speedway tracks.

Suffolk speedway ace Lawrence 'Lol' Hare faces the prospect of spending the rest of his life in a wheelchair.

FORMER England team manager Jim Easter backed The Evening Star's campaign to introduce safety fencing at speedway tracks.

Suffolk speedway ace Lawrence 'Lol' Hare faces the prospect of spending the rest of his life in a wheelchair.

And last week young speedway rider David Nix died in a crash at the Kings Lynn track in Norfolk.

Mr Easter, who was also a former US team manager and in charge of the Australian side for eight years, said: "I think air fencing is a wonderful idea and takes the sport to the 21st century."

The sport recently received millions of pounds from Sky TV. But Mr Easter said instead of high-points money to riders, some of that cash should have gone into improving track safety.

Ipswich based businessman Mr Easter, a friend of Lawrence's family, has seen three people killed in Speedway racing.

"I am not sure whether air fencing would have saved Lawrence from his injuries in this case but it is something should be looked at. The solid fencing is lethal."

Former Co-promoter at Peterborough Mr Easter, who runs Travel Plus Tours said: "He is one of the nicest people you could meet. It is all so tragic.

"The accident is has sickened me. They are a good family and everybody is pulling together to keep momentum."

Meanwhile former Ipswich Witches ace Ted Howgego has added his voice to the growing list concerned with safety in the sport.

Mr Howgego, who now runs Rendezvous Cafe, Queensway, Ipswich, was with The Witches from 1971 to 1979. His career took him to courses such as King's Lynn and Newport.

The 51-year-old said: "First of all I would like to say how sad this is and my sympathies are with the family and friends of David Nix.

"I always thought King's Lynn was a relatively safe track but the biggest problem is of course the concrete wall. I also remember Newport being a dangerous track."

He said it was now time that Speedway followed Formula One by bringing safety standards up to scratch.

"I think something has definitely got to be done. The technology of the sport has advanced but safety standards haven't. Tracks must have either collapsible fences, like in Ipswich, or air fences."

He continued: "The fact that there have been these accidents in quick succession is probably a tragic coincidence but it does highlight the dangers.

"The riders all know it's a dangerous sport but at the end of the day nobody wants to get hurt.

"Basically the sport needs more money and more sponsorship so these necessary improvements can be made."

The Evening Star is collecting money for Lawrence Hare. Please send your donations to: Geraldine Thompson, Editor's Secretary, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN.


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