DANNY KING COLUMN: A kick up the backside, filled in at Leicester! Ritchie breaks a phone – and almost his foot – (don’t laugh!)

Witches Director of Speedway Chris Louis (left) and team manager Ritchie Hawkins. It hasn't been the

Witches Director of Speedway Chris Louis (left) and team manager Ritchie Hawkins. It hasn't been the best of weeks for the Witches, on and off track. - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

There weren’t too many smiling faces around Derwent Park, Workington, on Saturday night – especially on the Witches side of the pits.

The big Derwent Park bowl at Workington, where we didn't do very well on Saturday.

The big Derwent Park bowl at Workington, where we didn't do very well on Saturday. - Credit: Archant

We were well beaten by the Comets and although the track was difficult early on, we were never at the races.

I’ve said this so many times, but with the team we have got, we should be solid enough to go anywhere and at least get a point, if we don’t win.

So, there was a bit of an inquest among the riders in the changing rooms at Workington.

We knew we had let ourselves down and didn’t need to look at the reactions of Ritchie Hawkins and Chris Louis who I know were very unimpressed.

Danny King with the Tin Cup

Danny King with the Tin Cup - Credit: Archant


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The boss, Chris, of course, rode at the very highest levels of speedway in the Grand Prix for many years.

He has achieved much and we all respect him hugely. He has very high standards and we could see how unhappy he was on Saturday with us and hopefully it’s the kick up the backside needed.

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So, it was a quiet journey home from the north-west back to Peterborough and a quiet Sunday with the family, although I did spend a lot of the day in the workshop, as I had a meeting for Leicester on Bank Holiday Monday.

Why does it always seem to rain on Bank Holidays in this country?

It rained a lot around the Leicester area on Monday and when the referee turned up a couple of hours before the start I think he was happy to call it off.

We all wanted to give it a try and the ref agreed. So, the track staff worked hard to get the meeting on, only for us to lose in a heat 15 last-heat decider to Rye House.

I found myself in gate two in that last-heat.

I didn’t make a bad gate, but got completely filled in as the rain came down. I couldn’t see a damn thing and tear-off after tear-off was ripped from my visor until I ran out of them.

I finished last and we lost the meeting. I felt sorry for the fans and then felt sorry for myself when I realised how much work it was going to take to clean the bikes down the next day!

At Leicester we haven’t got going at home, but we have hardly had any meetings.

We now have three Saturday nights on the bounce, starting with Poole this week. Hopefully we can get some consistency going and get off the bottom of the Premiership.

It hasn’t been all doom and gloom in the King household this week, however.

I’ve got a couple of cracking stories to tell you about Ritchie, my good friend and of course Witches team manager!

First one... Golf.

As you might know, me and Ritchie have a regular competition called ‘The Tin Cup’.

We play for a very flash trophy (well a 4-inch tin cup!), but it is always taken seriously.

So, off we went last week and guess what? Yep, I won 3&2, which for the non-golfers among you means... Well I thrashed him!

Of course Ritchie wasn’t happy. His shoes were too tight and he found some awful lies off the tee apparently!

Not that I cared, as I paraded the Tin Cup through the clubhouse.

Now, if that wasn’t bad enough for poor Ritchie, things took a serious turn for the worse at Workington.

Our performance, as I have already mentioned, wasn’t good and Ritchie was in a bad mood through much of the meeting (understandably!).

Things weren’t helped when he went to argue a point with the referee over the pits phone during the meeting and was so cross with the answer he got, he flung the phone against the ball and smashed it. That of course is not good.

But what followed was even worse.

With his gander up and after smashing the phone, Ritchie turned and kicked a solid-looking box, which I think he thought would fly across the pits!

Sadly, it didn’t!

The box was bolted to the floor and poor Ritchie now has a foot the size of a house, swollen and bruised - indeed his golf shoes really don’t fit him now! We are all just hoping the swelling subsides and that he hasn’t broken his foot!

Tomorrow night then, it’s Newcastle on the Heath. I might see you at the Suffolk Show tomorrow. If not, see you at Foxhall.

DANNY

AS TOLD TO MIKE BACON

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