Returning King’s Lynn Stars’ injured skipper Rory Schlein given a hero’s welcome
- Credit: Ian Burt
Brave Rory Schlein received a rapturous reception last night as he made an emotional return to King's Lynn.
The Stars' skipper set foot in the Adrian Flux Arena for the first time since he underwent spinal surgery following an horrific crash in Poland last month.
The Australian, who is already managing to walk small distances, was greeted warmly by fans, team-mates and club officials ahead of, and during, his English club's home Elite League meeting with the Lakeside Hammers.
The 30-year-old said: 'It's just been so nice to see some of the people I'd normally see more or less every week if I was racing. It's been reassuring to see Buster (Chapman, owner), Rob (Lyon, team boss), the lads and the people around the stadium.
'I was in hospital for about two weeks and over the last five or six days I've finally been able to get out and about to see people.
'It's just nice to see some familiar faces, especially at Lynn, because they're such a family orientated club. It was nice to see a bit of speedway too.'
The Coventry-based racer, who has ridden for the Stars since 2013, was rushed to hospital on May 24 immediately after his accident while competing for Lodz against Daugavpils. Since his urgent operation, messages of support have flooded in for the popular Aussie – likely to be wearing a supportive back brace for at least another six to eight weeks – known as Roo-Boy. Bucket collections have also been held to raise money for the injured father-of-two.
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'It's one thing thanking fans for their support online,' added Schlein.
'But I wanted to do it face to face. I want to thank other supporters too but now I've done it to Lynn fans in person.'