Simon Stead has revealed how boxing trainer Ryan Rhodes played a major part in his decision to make a comeback with Sheffield next year.
Stead will return to Owlerton as skipper and No.1 after suffering horrific arm and leg injuries in a track crash at Rye House last April.
He admits retirement was a possibility but has decided to race once again. And it’s that extra push from Rhodes and personal trainer Adam Copley, plus backing from his boss James Holland at The Car Specialist in Sheffield, that means he will be back to lead the Tigers next spring.
“Ryan has supported me well,” he said. “His new gym 26RR Fitness is near where I live and it’s been fantastic being down there and having him help me.
“I remember Ryan coming to visit me in hospital and he was saying ‘don’t worry mate, we’ll get through it. We’ve done it before and we’ll do it again if you decide you want to get back on a bike.’
“I‘m lucky to be able to call Ryan a pal and he’s been 100 per cent behind me.
“I’ve also had Adam as my personal trainer. He runs a gym in Sheffield and he’s been great, so I’ve upped my training over the last month and I’m there four and five times as week and I’m feeling really good. I just need to get to that next level now.
“People have seen me walking around and not looking like there was anything wrong with me and I’ve been able to go for a run and getting on the treadmill — but getting that final bit of strength back is something I’ve found difficult.
“But I’ve upped the training and I’ve brought in a few different things to help that strength work and that’s really been helpful.
“So things are progressing. If I didn’t feel that I was getting back to the level that I have been then I wouldn’t have chosen to continue.
“But the fact that I’ve got these people around me had made that decision relatively easy. And looking at the team we’re putting together there’s every reason to be excited.
“Some good riders have already signed and the others that are in talks will make us one of the teams to beat next year. Others will look at us and certainly not fancy coming to Owlerton — and if we can get points on the road as well then we’ll definitely be up there.
“I’ll be back on a bike next month and I honestly can’t wait for the season to come around now.”