Let's all fight for Lol

SPEEDWAY: A call went out today from leading speedway riders to erect air fences at every British league track in the wake of Lawrence Hare's horrendous crash. "It is time the sport was brought into the modern era," said Jeremy Doncaster, a former world number three who is riding his 21st season this year.

By Elvin King

A CALL went out today from leading speedway riders to erect air fences at every British league track in the wake of Lawrence Hare's horrendous crash.

"It is time the sport was brought into the modern era," said Jeremy Doncaster, a former world number three who is riding his 21st season this year.

Ipswich-based Hare crashed heavily riding for Exeter at Newport on Sunday and is currently in the Royal Gwent Hospital in serious but stable condition.

Today the Evening Star gives speedway fans their chance to pass on their best wishes to the popular 32-year-old, who it is feared may spend the rest of his life in a wheelchair after suffering severe back and neck injuries.

The former Ipswich, Edinburgh, Oxford, and Newport rider – nicknamed Lol – is believed to have no feeling from the neck down although surgeons are hoping that some feeling will return when the swelling goes down. He is due to have an operation either today or tomorrow.

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Doncaster took a break from preparing for Ipswich Evening Star Witches' Sky Sports Elite League match at Poole tonight to become the first to join the Star's campaign for goodwill messages for Hare.

"We are all thinking of Lol," said Doncaster. "All Grand Prix meetings use air fences and they have already saved a number of riders from serious injury.

"It is surely only a matter of time before British speedway joins the modern era. But the move must be speeded up before more riders suffer injury.

"Coventry have an air fence at their Brandon stadium and it is brilliant. King's Lynn were thinking of installing one. There is no doubt that an air fence considerably reduces the chances of serious injury."

British speedway joins the modern era. But the move must be speeded up before more riders suffer injury.

"Coventry have an air fence at their Brandon stadium and it is brilliant. King's Lynn were thinking of installing one. There is no doubt that an air fence considerably reduces the chances of serious injury."

Hare hit the Newport fence with some force on Sunday, and eye witness photographer Mike Patrick said that he has seen riders walk away from similar crashes in Grand Prix meetings.

"An air fence would have cushioned Lawrence's crash, and could well have saved him from injury," said Patrick.

Carl Baldwin, who broke ribs and bruised his lung when sliding into the King's Lynn fence on Good Friday, endorsed Doncaster's claim.

"With an air fence, instead of a solid wall, I would have walked away," said Baldwin who is likely to be out of action for another two weeks."

Mildenhall are to have an air fence installed this season, while the 'flexible' fence at Foxhall Stadium is considered to be one of the safest in the Elite League.

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