SPEEDWAY STAR NEWSDESK
ALE Allitt has moved to clarify his dual role with Premiership rivals Peterborough and King’s Lynn.
DAllitt (right) is declared as a co-promoter at the Adrian Flux Arena but some supporters were surprised by his involvement with the Panthers as they swept to the topflight title last month – whilst the Stars endured a season to forget.
But Allitt has explained he is deployed by Keith Chapman, the owner of both clubs, in an overall ‘operations manager’ role which involves working with both team bosses Rob Lyon and Alex Brady, and he insists he’s fully committed to both.
Allitt said: “When I returned from illness in 2019, it was always assumed that I would be team manager (at King’s Lynn) again in 2020, and for a while it looked like that would happen.
“But of course 2020 never happened and it was very quickly decided by Buster that even then he was thinking of taking a lesser role, so he asked me whether I would oversee both clubs.
“At that point, it involved working with Colin (Pratt) at Peterborough, and doing what I’d always done at King’s Lynn, and of course we did get as far as doing a press day at Peterborough before things all changed.
“An enormous amount of work was undertaken for both clubs that year, even though we weren’t racing, because we always thought we were going to get racing at some point, so actually it was really busy and we did do one Youth meeting at King’s Lynn.
“Rob was already in place at Peterborough, he was going to be team manager for 2020, and then with the sad deterioration of Colin’s health 2021 became a case of rather than overseeing it, actually running the backroom side of it.
“But I was still doing what I’ve always done at King’s Lynn, and unfortunately for several different reasons King’s Lynn wasn’t successful – it certainly wasn’t for the lack of trying, and it started with the loss of Robert (Lambert) with the Covid situation and Poland, and we were never able to replace him.
“It was never really highlighted what I was doing, but that was everything from the paperwork behind the scenes, promoters’ meetings mainly on Zoom, General Council, sorting riders or guests when they were needed, and running the ticket system, so there was so much more than what people see.”
Allitt says Lyon and Brady are the two men who have the overall say in the team-building direction to be taken by the Panthers and the Stars, and his role then becomes to deliver
ELLE Vue welcomed the BBC TV cameras last week to film members of Great Britain’s Monster Energy FIM Speedway of Nations winning side. Dan Bewley and Tom Brennan were at the National Speedway Stadium to meet breakfast presenter Mike Bushell for a special feature on the stunning success.
Initially Bushell wanted to file towards the end of October but this wasn’t possible for a number of reasons, but he kept in touch and finally made it to the venue, close to BBC’s studios in Salford, on Thursday.
Meanwhile, Friends of Belle Vue now have their application forms available to join for the 2022 season.
For £15 members will have their name on the programme and contribute to a scheme which goes towards helping with costs relating to the Colts kevlars.
Forms are available from the club website bellevuespeedway.com and fans are reminded the club office and shop are closed until next Monday.
those line-ups within clubs’ financial frameworks.
• continued on page 22 THE Rye House Action Group have submitted a formal proposal to the leaseholders of Hoddesdon Stadium for the reinstatement of the speedway track at the venue.
The Group, who hope to revive racing at the Hertfordshire circuit, have written to Kevin O’Malley of Carter and Bailey Ltd. with full details of their plans, including the financial costs involved. Group leader Steve Ribbons is now awaiting a response.
HERE’S less than a mile between the former Derwent Park home of Workington Speedway and the venue which now seeks to return league racing to Cumbria. Indeed, if you look from turn one at Northside, over the river you’ll see the site where the Comets spent an unbroken 20-year spell – having returned from a decade-plus hiatus – culminating in their Championship glory and treble triumph of 2018.
That incredible campaign of on-track success was, though, achieved amidst the backdrop of major financial concerns, and the warning bells were sounding long before the champagne corks were popping to celebrate the league title.
But the club’s loyal supporters received the ultimate of shattering blows three months later when, with the Comets having already somewhat surprisingly declared their intention to continue, they suddenly withdrew from the sport citing the withdrawal of expected new investment.
And with what always felt like an undue haste and almost a disrespect to history, the track was rapidly ripped out amidst talk that Workington AFC, who compete in the Northern Premier League One West, would be transferring operations to Derwent Park.
That never happened as the football club remained at nearby Borough Park, whilst rugby league is now back at the Comets’ base with a wider pitch - with speedway apparently gone for good, as talks continue over a new sports village fronted by Allerdale Borough Council.
But for the last 21 years, there has been another venue operating in the area, and the Northside training facility is now set to step up with a spectacular facelift and provide a new club for next season’s National Development League – and a further muchneeded boost for the sport after the news of Oxford’s return.
The project is the brainchild of local businessman Andrew Bain, a long-time Workington fan who has been planning the upgrade throughout 2021.
Carlisle-based Bain has Comets and Glasgow legend Steve Lawson on board to oversee track matters, and the work is now taking place apace with the kerb in place and the track surface and fencing to come - and reaction to the news has been spectacularly positive.
Bain said: “I was running the training track here at Northside, we had training on every weekend, and it’s also run British Youth rounds in the past.
“But really it was getting harder for people to come and harder to get people here with it being was such a small, tight track.
“So in January I decided we’d make it
8 COPPERGATE MEWS, BRIGHTON ROAD,
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VOLUME 70 NUMBER 39
2 speedway star November 27, 2021