Special event to aid ex Sheffield speedway rider

Ricky Ashworth
Ricky Ashworth

Plans have been revealed for a special event at Sheffield’s Owlerton Stadium to help stricken former Tigers favourite Ricky Ashworth.

The 31-year-old, a league title winner with Sheffield in 2002 and Premier League Riders’ Champion, is fighting to recover from debilitating injuries caused when he crashed racing for Berwick at Scunthorpe 17 months ago.

Ricky spent 91 days in a coma and now faces a battle to lead as normal a life as possible. He is the first modern-day rider to be left with brain injuries after an accident.

The meeting, ‘Ricky’s BIG Day’, will be on March 22 and is the launch of the 2015 Owlerton season and organisers are hoping that the proceeds will be enough to build a special facility at his parents’ home in Salford.

Benefit committee spokesman Ian Hunter said: “He is still not well. He has a brain injury and most people don’t realise how serious it is. What’s happened is tragic. You feel extremely sad for Ricky and his family. They’re so close and everything revolves around Ricky right now and trying to make his life that little bit better.

“What he needs is his own space at home. There is room to build a ground floor bedroom and a wet room with specialist equipment.

“That would give him some independence and obviously aid his recovery. We’re hoping that riders and fans will support the meeting to enable us to do that for him.”

Anyone wanting to help Ricky in any way can email juliereading22@btinternet.com.

Ricky remains a hugely popular person with Sheffield fans for his all-action determination which pleased supporters up and down the country.

He won one England cap during his career and appeared in the Elite League for both Poole and Peterborough whilst doubling-up with Sheffield.