Sheffield Tigers: The ups and downs of family life for Jack Smith

Jack Smith
Jack Smith

Sheffield Tigers rookie Jack Smith loves having his old man by his side in the pits – even if he doesn’t show it.

The 19-year-old Tigers reserve benefits from three-time British champion Andy Smith being there every step of the way with uncle Paul Smith, another former rider, also helping out.

But despite having a wealth of hints and tips at his disposal, Smith Jnr sometimes finds it difficult to express his appreciation when the cabin fever of being stuck in a garage or van sets in.

“He has had more than 30 years of experience so it is really good to have him around,” said Jack of his dad ahead of riding for Tigers at home to Workington on Thursday (7.30).

“That said, some times are better than others and we can argue in the pits. He knows so much and I don’t know a lot so it can be difficult for both of us when we don’t see things the same way as each other.

“When it goes well it is very good, though. I really like having my dad there and my uncle, I could not ask for better backing because all I have to concentrate on is improving every week.

“Every son and dad, mum and daughter, argue at times. Families don’t always get on and it is not easy for any of us.

“We are together pretty much 24 hours a day, whether it is on track, in the garage or in the van. I do appreciate everything he does, though.”

Father and son will be seeing plenty more of each other now Jack, who rides for Belle Vue Colts in the National League, has been handed another crack at Premiership speedway by champions Swindon.

The opportunity came in unfortunate circumstances after Robins reserve Mitchell Davey suffered a punctured lung, multiple broken ribs and broken vertabrae among other injuries.

“It was not the way I wanted to get a team place in the Premiership,” Smith added.

“Mitch’s crash was such a shame. He deserved a really good year for Swindon and I was gutted to see how bad his injuries were.

“I wish him the speediest and best recovery, it is horrible to see any fellow rider go through what he has.”