New Ipswich Witches skipper Ritchie Hawkins’ rollercoaster 18 months

New skipper Ritchie Hawkins

New skipper Ritchie Hawkins - Credit: Archant

Ritchie Hawkins will skipper Ipswich ‘Sackers’ Witches in 2014 to complete full circle an astonishing 18 months for the popular 30-year-old.

Ritchie Hawkins will skipper Ipswich ‘Sackers’ Witches in 2014 to complete full circle an astonishing 18 months for the popular 30-year-old.

It was half-way through the 2012 season that Hawkins and his then-club Rye House went their separate ways with Hawkins admitting to making no money out of a sport he had fallen out of love with.

At the start of 2013 little had changed – until Chris Louis – the Ipswich director of speedway came calling – looking for a replacement for the out-of-form Jari Makinen.

Hawkins joined the Witches, enjoyed a fine 2013 season and was then announced as the new skipper of the Witches for 2014.


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“I’m proud, really proud,” said Hawkins.

“Things have come along way for me in 18 months.

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“I came into the side last season and I must have made an impression. To be captain of the Witches is an honour.”

Despite being the lowest-average Witch in next year’s line-up, Hawkins is already looking forward to his role in the side.

“It’s a young side and for the first time in my career I must be the oldest rider in the line-up,” he laughed.

“But I hope the fans are excited at the prospect of watching the team next year. It’s going to be an exciting one – there will be some mistakes along the way, but there will be 100 per cent effort throughout.

Hawkins, an on-call firefighter, is confident his personality will shine through.

“I like to lead by example,” he said.

“If the young lads in the team can see I’m always up for it, then it will help them. I can’t wait for the season to start.”

Louis, explained his decision for giving Hawkins the job.

“Asking Ritchie to take on the captain’s role was a no brainer for me,” Louis said.

“As a well-liked and respected member of last season’s squad and being the oldest in the team it felt right that he should be offered the position.

“Richie Worrall and Morten Risager were both considered.

“But for differing reasons I would like to leave them to get on with their respective jobs and I’m very comfortable putting Ritchie in charge.

“I know he’ll do a fabulous job.”

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