Stars keen to shine in Jones tribute
King's Lynn Stars' team boss Rob Lyon promises the treble winners mean business in tonight's Ashley Jones speedway memorial meeting curtain raiser at the Norfolk Arena.
King's Lynn Stars' team boss Rob Lyon promises the treble winners mean business in tonight's Ashley Jones speedway memorial meeting curtain raiser at the Norfolk Arena. (7.30pm)
Tomas Topinka leads a full strength Stars against a special select team featuring Australian U21 runner up Troy Batchelor and Jones' younger brother, Mark, in honour of the popular Aussie who died in a racing accident 17 months ago.
Lynn re-appear for the first time since clinching last season's Premier League championship on a memorable evening against Sheffield at Saddlebow.
“Emotions will be high,” said Lyon. “But after talking to a few of the riders it's clear they will treat it as a highly competitive meeting, which is great to see because Ashley was always a real battler and wouldn't have wanted it any other way. The select team is slightly stronger than the Stars with a combined average of over 44 points while we have an average of just under 40 points.”
Jones' great friend Kevin Doolan will be on duty for Elite League club Belle Vue while Isle of Wight talent Chris Holder is also unavailable.
“Last year we ran what we though would be a special one off meeting for Ashley,” said Stars' co-promoter Buster Chapman. “It was clear to see he is still in everybody's memories so for the foreseeable future we will always run a meeting in Ashley's memory at the start of each new season. The select team is made up with some great guys who all knew Ashley well. Camerron Woodward was a childhood friend; Craig Watson originally helped Ashley come over to here while Ashley's brother, Mark, is also in the meeting. Shaun Tacey, Tommy Stange and Troy all rode with Mark in 2005 and Simon Lambert knew him well.”
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Chapman revealed a majority of the profits raised from tonight's meeting will be split between the 'Guide dogs for the blind' charity and the speedway riders' benevolent fund.
Admission prices: Adults £12, concessions £8, juniors £4 with free entry for children aged 11 and under.
Stars: Tomas Topinka, Chris Mills, Daniel Nermark, Trevor Harding, Paul Lee, James Brundle, John Oliver.
Ashley Jones Select: Troy Batchelor, Mark Jones, Craig Watson, Shaun Tacey, Cameroon Woodward, Tommy Stange, Simon Lambert.