Hans: Join me for British Grand Prix

HANS Andersen today issued a unique invitation to a lucky Ipswich Evening Star Witches fan: “Come and join me in the pits for the 2005 British Grand Prix.

HANS Andersen today issued a unique invitation to a lucky Ipswich Evening Star Witches fan: “Come and join me in the pits for the 2005 British Grand Prix.”

The 24-year-old Dane will be riding with the world's best speedway riders at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff on Saturday, June 11.

It will be a night to remember, with around 50,000 fans at the biggest speedway event of the year.

Andersen said: “It would be great to walk the track with an Ipswich fan before the meeting, and to have them by my side for the whole day.”

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Andersen is offering this exciting opportunity after discussions with his manager Mick Bratley, who lives just outside Peterborough and used to be a big supporter of the Posh football team.

Andersen said: “The two greatest moments in Mick's sporting life were watching me win the Scandinavian Grand Prix last season, and watching Steve Cooper score with a diving header in the final seconds to give Peterborough a play-off semi-final victory over Huddersfield in 1992.

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“Posh went on to beat Stockport 2-1 at Wembley Stadium to play in the old First Division - and Steve became a Peterborough legend.”

Cooper died suddenly of a brain haemorrhage in February 2004 aged 39, and a fund has been set up in his memory. More than £6,000 has already been raised, and the person who will be Andersen's special guest in Cardiff will be the one who makes the highest bid in an auction.

Bidding will close on Monday evening. Until then Witches fans can make their bids by tracking down “Hans Andersen GP” on the eBay website. The money will add to the Cooper fund.

So far bids have reached over £230.

Andersen, who stays with Bratley and his family when in England, has been in Poland this week going through pre-season formalities with his Polish League club Wroclaw.

In England Andersen is currently owned by Poole, but he is likely to become an Ipswich asset.

When the Witches receive their transfer fee from Coventry for the sale of Scott Nicholls much of this is believed to be earmarked to add the Grand Prix star to the Ipswich list.

Pirates boss Matt Ford caused a storm when he put a £50,000 prize tag on Andersen's head last October, but he subsequently loaned the rider to Ipswich for this year and will now consider an offer of around £30,000.

Andersen, who roared to a 15-point maximum against Belle Vue last Thursday, will be a key figure on Good Friday when the Witches take on Arena-Essex at Foxhall (2.30).

n Tickets have sold well, but speedway fans can still gain entry on the door for Friday's John Berry Witches reunion at Kesgrave Community Centre.

Tickets will also be on sale at the Witches home match against Arena-Essex.

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