Battling Lol says thanks

SPEEDWAY: Lawrence Hare has asked through The Evening Star to thank every person who attends his special speedway meeting at Foxhall Stadium tomorrow night.

By Elvin King


LAWRENCE Hare has asked through The Evening Star to thank every person who attends his special speedway meeting at Foxhall Stadium tomorrow night.

Speaking today from his hospital bed, the 32-year-old rider – paralysed from the chest down in a crash at Newport on April 14 – also expressed his determination to make as full a recovery as possible.

"I do not want to let anybody down," said Hare, who has had his hopes dashed of making tomorrow's meeting at Foxhall. It will take the form of a four-team tournament involving clubs Lol rode for in his career as well as a host of other attractions.

These include an amazing stunt by the Bickers Action team, of James Bond film fame, who will fire a Fiat Punto out of a cannon.

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"Unfortunately I cannot make the meeting, but I will be thinking about what is going on. I shall be on the telephone immediately afterwards to hear how everything went," added Hare, who is waiting for a bed to become available at the Stoke Mandeville spine specialist hospital.

"Everybody has been so kind and one day I will say thank you properly. I just wish I could be at the turnstiles thanking everybody for coming.

"I am really chuffed at what is being done for me and just hope that everybody has a great time."

It could be two days or two weeks before Hare is moved to Aylesbury-based Stoke Mandeville and he reached a new milestone yesterday when he sat up at the end of his bed.

"To be honest it knocked me back a bit," he said. "I was shattered afterwards and now know how much work I have got to do to strengthen my arms.

"With no feeling in my stomach I have got to find a new balance point. But I am getting there and have more feeling in my top two fingers. I also have a little feeling in the little finger of my left hand, which I have been told is encouraging.

"I am generally chirpy enough, but still have times when everything comes over black. I have had a haircut for the first time since the accident and have now got a new collar, which is smaller and more manageable.

"When I get to Stoke Mandeville I am sure I will really get going, although I could not have been looked after any better at the Royal Gwent Hospital, Newport.

"I want tomorrow night to be a fun night. I understand there will be one or two surprises."

So far £35,000 has been raised for the popular rider at a host of events around Great Britain, and the organisers plan to reach a target of £100,000.

Speedway meetings in Poland have forced a number of riders, who would have loved to have ridden for Lol, to miss tomorrow's meeting. But the likes of Joe Screen, Steve Johnston, Shane Parker, Craig Boyce and Ben Howe will ensure a competitive meeting between Ipswich, Exeter, Edinburgh and Oxford.

Witches season tickets will not be eligible but on production of the ticket holders can enter for a reduced price of £10 (£5 concessions).