Miracle recovery speedway star to return
TWO months after being kept alive on a life-support machine in Ipswich Hospital, teenage speedway star James Brundle, is racing once more.The 17-year-old Mildenhall rider will be back in a Fen Tigers race jacket tomorrow for a Conference League meeting at Rye House, before racing for the Fen Tigers at West Row on Sunday against King's Lynn in a knock-out cup fixture.
By Mike Bacon
TWO months after being kept alive on a life-support machine in Ipswich Hospital, teenage speedway star James Brundle, is racing once more.
The 17-year-old Mildenhall rider will be back in a Fen Tigers race jacket tomorrow for a Conference League meeting at Rye House, before racing for the Fen Tigers at West Row on Sunday against King's Lynn in a knock-out cup fixture.
It is an incredible return to fitness, and the speedway track, for the King's Lynn-based youngster, who was involved in an horrific car crash on the A12 at Great Glemham on June 6, after a day out in Lowestoft.
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He suffered serious internal injuries and spent three days in intensive care at Ipswich Hospital.
But yesterday Brundle was enjoying the Suffolk sunshine with girlfriend Chloe McMaster in Hadleigh, looking forward to resuming his promising speedway career, and yet reflecting on how close he had come to losing his life.
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"I know there was a time some people thought I would never pull through," Brundle said.
"And I must admit I wondered if I would ever leave hospital."
"But once I was out I knew I would always ride again, it was just a case of when."
"Obviously I lost a lot of weight, over a stone, after the accident and my muscles wasted badly. But I feel fit again now and I am determined to prove to anyone who doubts me that I am back."
Brundle's return to the saddle is a measure not only of the teenager's bravery but also of his determination. After being released from Ipswich Hospital five days after the smash, he suffered a further setback with a blood infection that kept him in King's Lynn Hospital for a further 10 days. He only returned home six weeks ago, but has made dramatic strides since.
"I've had a couple of practice laps at Lynn, but I'm looking forward to racing properly again," continued Brundle, who was linked with a move to the Ipswich Witches in 2003.
"I am not a nervous person, so the speedway side of it doesn't worry me. The fact my accident was on the road and not on a speedway track means I have no hang-ups about racing again.
"Riding for Mildenhall will be great, but I really want my Premier League place at King's Lynn back, and the quicker I can get the points on the board to prove to them I am fit again, the better. Plus of course because I haven't been riding, I haven't been earning much."
While it is all smiles now, it was far from that on June 6 when Brundle was involved in the crash that left him with a ruptured diaphragm, broken ribs and a punctured lung.
Mildenhall Fen Tigers boss Graham Drury last night commented: "It's amazing to think how the lad has recovered and he's shown a lot of determination. It will be good to have him back."
Thoughts echoed by many, with Brundle sure to get an excellent reception at West Row on Sunday afternoon as Fen Tigers' fans welcome him back to track action.