Bandits press ahead with plans for 2013

BERWICK are pressing ahead with their plans for 2013 despite the fact that they have not confirmed whether or not they will be running.

By Keith Hamblin
Tuesday, 27th November 2012, 8:06 am

A statement issued by the club this week said that they had ‘opened negotiations’ with several riders, with a view to formulating a possible team to come to the tapes next March.

But the Bandits stressed that their search for a major team sponsor goes on.

Promoter John Anderson said admission prices had been set at £12 for adults, £10 concessions, with kids admitted free of charge when accompanied by a paying adult. Supporters will also be offered the chance to buy attractively priced season tickets, or to buy books of tickets in advance for five or ten meetings at a time.

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Director George Hepburn said: “We realise the financial constraints facing most people at the moment, and with no signs of an economic upturn in the near future we have to do our bit to try and make the package as attractive as possible for the fans.”

Fellow director George Fairgrieve added: “We have listened to what the supporters want. We are intent on running in 2013, but spiralling costs are an issue. Too many people have put in an aweful lot of work for the club to simply become a victim.”

Meanwhile, Berwick co-promoter Dennis McCleary has revealed the club is talking with riders with a view to possible contracts.

“Most of the riders we have spoken to realise they need to take a pay cut if the sport is to survive. After all, if there are no clubs then there will be no league racing.”

“We are not in a unique financial position at Berwick, and speedway bosses everywhere need to be applauded for tackling the problems before they escalate beyond repair.”

David Bellego, who last week was confirmed as a Berwick asset by the BSPA, has said he would like to return to the Bandits next season if they run.

And the Frenchman has revealed that the biggest draw card is the Ricky Ashworth factor.

The teenager - he is still only 19 - says he wants to ride for the Bandits again and has identified Ashworth as the major reason for his wish to stay.

“Ricky spent a lot of time helping me,” said Bellego. “We worked together setting up engines and I learned a lot from him. Ricky is a great guy, he says he wants to be back at Berwick next season as well, and I would love to be in the same team as him again.”

* Berwick Speedway Supporters Club, who are launching a new ‘Hall of Fame,’ have confirmed their inaugural dinner is a sell-out, although tickets for the after-dinner disco are still available.

The event is being held in the Black and Gold on Saturday, January 26 and the first inductees will be the Taylor family (Danny, Elizabeth and son Kenny) who first introduced the sport to the Borders in 1968, and two former captains, Rob Grant and Alan Mogridge.

Tickets for the disco (£5) are available from Derek Wilson on 07872073971 or Lisa Youngman on 07773759864.