SPEEDWAY: Chris Louis has defended Ipswich Witches’ decision to deny access to Foxhall Stadium for four-time world champion Barry Briggs and his ride around the country to collect for a fund for injured former speedway riders.

And Briggs has confirmed that the rift has been healed.

Two Ipswich-based former riders Lawrence Hare and John Simmons are currently in wheelchairs and will benefit from Briggs’ visit to Orwell Motor Cycles in Ipswich last Saturday.

“Our riders have already contributed a percentage of their points money to Briggo, and in the case of a couple of riders who are struggling financially, the club made a contribution on their behalf,” said Louis.

“We received a lot of calls and letters from Witches fans dismayed that Kim Jansson was excluded from Briggo’s fund raising efforts.

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“Given Kim’s popularity at Ipswich we wanted to avoid anything which could detract from a worthy cause.

“It was in that spirit that we made our decision. As a club we have always supported injured riders and will continue to do so.”

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Witches promoter John Louis paid a visit to see Briggs at the weekend and a cheque from the club was handed over.

“Barry was more than understanding and we donated a cheque to his charity in the sum of �360.,” said Louis.

“Barry is a true champion and a gentlemen and all of us at Ipswich Witches wish him well with his epic ride.

“An open invitation was given to him to attend Foxhall Stadium.”

Briggs said: “ I didn’t come to Ipswich for a bun fight.

“This is not about Barry Briggs, and Ipswich fans shouldn’t be divided because of who is and who isn’t on the list. This is a friendly sport enjoyed by families so let’s keep it that way.”

For Monday’s home Elite League victory over Swindon, Ipswich donated a �1 from every turnstile payment to the Help for Heroes fund.

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