Scott's kindness gave me reason to live
DISABLED Phil Skeates says that Ipswich speedway skipper Scott Nicholls has given him a new reason to live.Nicholls was moved by a tear-jerking letter from Skeates' two sons and invited the speedway fan to Foxhall Stadium for Monday's Elite League victory over Eastbourne.
By Georgina James
DISABLED Phil Skeates says that Ipswich speedway skipper Scott Nicholls has given him a new reason to live.
Nicholls was moved by a tear-jerking letter from Skeates' two sons and invited the speedway fan to Foxhall Stadium for Monday's Elite League victory over Eastbourne.
Skeates sat in his wheelchair beside Nicholls' pit area – and described it as the best night of his life.
The speedway fanatic from Swindon was so depressed after an injury at work left him confined to a wheelchair that his two young sons decided to make a desperate plea to Nicholls for help.
Sam, 15, and 11-year-old Josh wrote to the Ipswich Evening Star Witches ace telling him about their father's plight.
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"The letter tugged at my heartstrings," said Grand Prix star Nicholls. "For his two sons to go to that trouble shows that things must have got to a pretty bad state.
"Seeing Phil with a huge smile on his face on Monday gave me and my crew a big lift. It was only a small thing for me to do, but it obviously meant so much to Phil. I felt so sorry for his two lads, who wanted their father back to how he was before his accident."
Skeates travelled by coach, arriving at Foxhall early afternoon on Monday.
"I now want to walk again," he said. "The doctors say that I can't, but I will certainly try.
"For a year I lay on the floor. I was at rock bottom. I had given up.
"As soon as Scott received the boys' letter he sent a race jacket and a lovely note. He sent me a Christmas card, which brought another tear to my eye.
"I left Foxhall on Monday night the happiest man in the world. I could not have been any higher.
"Thanks to Scott I have gone from one extreme to the other. It was worth six hours on the coach with morphine helping to deaden the pain."
Phil, who also has a daughter Elizabeth, is married to Lisa.
Before his accident he was a regular at Swindon speedway and Nicholls and Ryan Sullivan were his favourite riders.
"They still are," he added. "Ryan has been so kind as well, coming round to my house.
"I needed some help to get me going again. Scott and Ryan have done that."