Tuesday January 27, 2015
Well that was someone I didn’t expect to see in the pits...

Cards on the table I was disappointed when the Rockets took to the track in 2014 without the ‘A’ Train. Anders Mellgren was a rider who I thought would be the centre piece of the challenge for honours for a few years after Uncle Len made the move to buy his contract. A genuinely nice guy I was as concerned as anyone when he crashed heavily and suffered a serious back injury early in the season in the colours of Scunthorpe. I was equally as concerned when he greeted me with a warm handshake and then proceeded to show me the evidence of the metal rod that had been inserted to fuse his broken vertebrae. “It’s OK I just have to lie flat between races’” he said leaving me to marvel at how tough speedway riders really are.

Along with Anders Uncle Len managed to secure the services of 19 year old Oliver Greenwood who turned into one of the few bright spots for the rest of the year. Reminding me of a younger Simon Wolstenholme the lad did exactly what the fans want he got stuck in from the beginning scoring paid 8 on his home debut against Redcar. It was an unfamiliar Wednesday night which certainly put my clock out for a few days but at least gave us a much needed victory.

Now my holiday habits have drawn much scorn from Team Manager John over the years, plans usually being met with “ but why do you want to go away during the season? ” To which I reply if I didn’t agree to sacrifice a couple of Saturdays to take Mrs H somewhere sunny for me there wouldn’t be a season! So it was that when the lads came mighty close to upsetting the high flying Rebels I was sitting in a restaurant in Madeira trying to catch glimpses of speedway updates from a phone cunningly hidden under the table cloth. On my return I was greeted by Camera Ken telling me I’d missed the best race of the season as Eddie K roared round Brady Kurtz and Pontus Aspgren in Heat 10. Alas like the rest of the campaign it was all for nothing.

Despite another Wednesday win against a decent Newcastle team six defeats in the rest of the month meant the wooden spoon was appearing over the horizon. The most frustrating was definitely on Saturday 16th August. This time I was in South Devon where horror of all horrors there was no internet. In fact ordering a take away on the mobile was a tricky enough experience standing half way up a cliff surrounded by sheep was the only place I could get a decent signal. Certainly made ordering lamb with ginger a bit awkward! News of the seventh home defeat of the season reached me the following morning courtesy of the free wi-fi in a certain coffee shop, reading Craig’s report perhaps it was best that I wasn’t there. The whole sorry episode left us just one point ahead of bottom club Sheffield and facing the inevitable.....