Alden comes out of retirement to ride as Ashworth’s cover

Seb Alden. Sebastian Alden
Seb Alden. Sebastian Alden

Berwick Bandits will be boosted by the return of crowd-pleasing club favourite Sebastian Alden for Saturday’s visit by the Somerset Rebels.

Before Christmas, Alden had told Berwick he wanted to concentrate on Elite League racing in 2013, and the Bandits reluctantly allowed the Swede to join King’s Lynn.

In June Alden ‘retired’ from British racing altogether, but after learning of the injuries suffered by Berwick No 1 Ricky Ashworth earlier this month, he feels he should return.

“As soon as news about Ricky reached Seb, he contacted us,” said team manager Ian Rae on Monday.

“Firstly to enquire about his former team-mate’s wellbeing of course and then, to offer to come back and ride as a Bandit again if we were going to be short-handed.

“This came out of the blue, but after discussing the matter with King’s Lynn, who were sympathetic about the situation – and talking it through with everyone, we have elected to bring Seb back in as an injury replacement.

Should there be no hitches Alden will rejoin Berwick to ride as No 1 on Saturday night.

The club have stressed that, for the moment Alden is returning only as an injury replacement, and Berwick are in no way presuming anything at all in the unchanged situation regarding Ricky Ashworth’s health.

Talking from the infield during the U-21 World Final event last Saturday, presenter Dick Barrie explained the reason for the wristbands being offered to speedway fans in support of Ricky Ashworth.

“I’m keeping mine on until he wakes up,” he said, “I hope to take it off very soon.”