It was sad to see Shane Parker retire from speedway last season but he is certainly going out with a bang by putting together a star studded line up for his farewell meeting in a couple of months time.
Parker still showed what a talented rider he was last year, when at the age of 41 and in the twilight of his career, by racking up mega points for Sheffield.
After such a successful year many fans hoped he would make a u-turn on his thoughts of retirement but this was not the case as he has hung up his kevlars.
However, his farewell meeting at Sheffield is sure to pull in a bumper crowd for such a popular guy and the calibre of riders on show is only fitting for a true stalwart of the sport.
Not only are there two world champions, Greg Hancock and under-21 winner Maciej Janowski, but we have the turbo twins of Darcy Ward and Chris Holder, the latter who Parker was mechanic for at a few Grand Prix last season.
Added to that are six time British champion Scott Nicholls, Grand Prix and Wolves star Freddie Lindgren and new Lakeside number one Davey Watt.
Surely more big names will be added soon for what promises to a great and emotional night of speedway to honour a great in the sport.
SPEAKING of the Grand Prix it certainly was shock to see that Jason Bunyan selected as the wildcard for the inaugural New Zealand Grand Prix.
Bunyan has been a great servant to New Zealand speedway always competing in their world championships, which he has won six times, so maybe it is right that he has been offered the place.
Hopefully he will not be fazed by riding against the top 15 riders in the world and will be at an advantage as the only person in the field to ride at the Western Springs Stadium.
It is no doubt the 32 year old’s biggest meeting of his career and although he is riding for Coventry in the Elite League his main commitments will be with Rye House in the Premier so it is good to see somebody from the lower division mix it with the big boys.
SOMEBODY at Berwick must have run over a few black cats over Christmas and the New Year the luck they are having with the start of the season still around a month and a half away.
First of all their Aussie star Kozza Smith breaks his femur in the Australian Championship and then their new signing Brenton Barnfield is seriously injured in the U-21 version.
Barnfield was rushed to hospital after lying unconscious on the track following a crash and was placed in intensive care and a medically induced coma to help ease the situation.
We know injuries are part and parcel of speedway and thankfully major ones are few and far between.
But nobody likes to see them and the whole of the speedway world will be wishing Kozza and Brenton a speedy recovery - especially those fans of the Border club.
Published: February 2, 2012
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Just a correction. Not in the New Zealand 'World' Championships, just the New Zealand Solo Championships.
Possibly only Larry Ross holds more N Z championships.