Speedway fans show their support for injured King’s Lynn Young Stars rider Darryl Ritchings

Darryl Ritchings lays injured on the track after crashing at Swindon. Picture: Dave Evans (Swindon Advertiser) Darryl Ritchings lays injured on the track after crashing at Swindon. Picture: Dave Evans (Swindon Advertiser)

Saturday, April 5, 2014
8:56 AM

A speedway family is pulling together to support an injured King’s Lynn rider who is lying sedated in a hospital bed.

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Darryl Ritchings in action for the King's Lynn Young Stars.Darryl Ritchings in action for the King's Lynn Young Stars.

Hundreds of fans took to Twitter to wish Darryl Ritchings, who rides for the town’s Young Stars team, a speedy recovery following a horror crash in Wiltshire on Thursday night.

The 19-year-old – who only made his debut for the Norfolk outfit’s second-string on Wednesday – was racing for his hometown club Swindon at their Abbey Stadium when he was flung head-first into the fence.

Corners, where crashes tend to occur, have special airbags to protect riders, but the devices are not fitted to straight sections of most tracks.

The father-of-one was knocked unconscious and suffered a broken nose and ankle as a result of the impact.

The meeting was delayed for 35 minutes while the teenager was treated before being taken to a nearby hospital. He was transferred to John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford for specialist treatment for bruising on the brain yesterday morning. Last night he remained in a stable condition in intensive care.

Swindon boss Alun Rossiter said: “Darryl is under sedation and obviously we are all concerned for the lad. The family have asked me to pass on their thanks for all the good wishes for Darryl and I’d ask everyone to respect the privacy of the family at this time. We should know more over the next few days and, as and when appropriate, we will issue a further update.”

Mr Ritchings, of Purton, near Swindon, was making a dream competitive home debut for the Robins before the accident happened. The 15-heat fixture was cut to only 10 races because of poor weather and visibility.

A statement from the Stars said: “Young Stars manager Dale Allitt is in contact with Darryl’s girlfriend Shelby about the racer’s condition. Once more information is available, further updates will be posted online.

“Everyone connected with King’s Lynn Speedway sends their best wishes to Darryl and his family.”

As supporters of the two-wheel sport, which sees competitors reach up to speeds of 70mph on a one-gear motorbike that has no brakes, took to Twitter to post their support, a family member posted from the injured youngster’s account.

The message read: “Just to let everybody know Darryl has a broken ankle & bruising on the brain & being kept sedated until swelling goes down. He is in ICU.”

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