Andre’s fund thanks

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Andre Compton has paid tribute to the Speedway Riders’ Benevolent Fund who came to his aid during his time on the sidelines.

Compton, who this week was confirmed as a Tigers rider for the new season, saw his 2014 campaign ended in a horror crash at Owlerton against Somerset in front of the Sky cameras. He was struck in the head by another machine after he lost his chain and was knockout out cold.

It was only on Tuesday of this week that he got back on a bike for the first time since the accident having worked hard on his physical fitness.

And he said: “It was the first time I have had to use the Ben Fund in all the time I’ve been riding, and they were really good. I sent Paul Ackroyd (treasurer) an email, and he obviously knew about the crash. He asked for my bank transfer details and he was able to send me money. They were certainly much better than the insurance!

“Thanks to that, I was able to see a private doctor and have scans which would not have been covered by insurance.”

Compton has also revealed how had resigned himself to starting the new season on the sidelines until he came through his fitness test on Tuesday.

He said: “I was disappointed not to have a team place this season because I had been talking to Sheffield and I had high hopes I would be back with them, but then it didn’t happen.

“So, in an ironic way, it’s great for me to finally be fixed up and I’m so pleased to be back at my home track, it’s a great feeling.

“It looked like I was going to have to wait and be patient as the season progressed, just hoping a place might come up, but then of course the visa issue opened some doors for me and I’m back which is great.”

The British season officially starts tomorrow with the Ben Fund Bonanza, raising funds for the Benevolent Fund, at Swindon. Gates open at 2.30pm and the racing starts at 4pm.