Ipswich rider feared paralysed
SPEEDWAY: Ipswich-based speedway rider Lawrence Hare faces the prospect of spending the rest of his life in a wheelchair. The 32-year-old suffered severe back injuries in a crash at Newport on Sunday and his injury was today described by the Royal Gwent Hospital as serious.
By Elvin King
IPSWICH-based speedway rider Lawrence Hare faces the prospect of spending the rest of his life in a wheelchair.
The 32-year-old suffered severe back injuries in a crash at Newport on Sunday and his injury was today described by the Royal Gwent Hospital as serious. He is in a stable condition.
Hare, who lives in Old Norwich Road, Ipswich, with wife Stacey – a former Miss Witch, was riding for Exeter in a Premier League meeting.
He appeared to clip the back wheel of home rider Craig Watson and crashed heavily into the fence in heat 10.
On Sunday it was believed he had no feeling from the waist down and this moved up to the shoulders yesterday. His wife, parents and brother Stuart are by his bedside.
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Family friend and former Ipswich Witches promoter Mike Western said: "Doctors are hoping that when the swelling goes down feeling will return.
"He is on weights at the moment to try and keep his back stretched. It is an extremely serious injury."
Western said he likened it to the injuries former world champion Per Jonsson suffered when he crashed while riding in a Polish League match in the early 90s. He has been unable to walk again.
"But he is driving a car in his native Sweden and we are all rooting for Lol," added Western.
When Hare drove to Newport on Sunday he must have had fears about returning to the Welsh track.
He had already suffered one bad back injury riding at the circuit. This meant a lengthy stay in hospital and his career was in doubt.
And on January 1, 2000, he suffered another crash during Newport's special annual winter meeting.
This affected his one season riding for his home town club in the Sky Sports Elite League, as the wrist he damaged never allowed him to show his true form for Ipswich.
Hare underwent an operation on the wrist this winter and was looking forward to continuing his career at Exeter, where he was the Falcons rider of the season last year.
He previously rode for Edinburgh where he was also a big favourite and named their top rider one season.
Hare runs a panel beating and spraying business at Old Newton and both Exeter and Edinburgh have already agreed to run a special meeting if necessary to raise funds.