Speedway mum looks the other way
SpeedwayPAT Doncaster has revealed that she cannot bear to watch her son Chris Louis race.“I am a regular at Foxhall Stadium but I look down during his races and heave a big sigh of relief when he crosses the finishing line,” she said.
By Elvin King
PAT Doncaster has revealed that she cannot bear to watch her son Chris Louis race.
“I am a regular at Foxhall Stadium but I look down during his races and heave a big sigh of relief when he crosses the finishing line,” she said.
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Pat knows from experience the pain associated with the shale sport. Her first husband John Louis began racing nearly 35 years ago, her current husband Jeremy rode for over 20 years and her son Chris is in his 20th season, having suffered two serious injuries.
And the agony was brought home last Thursday when Mark Loram broke his thigh and fractured an arm in a sickening crash against Reading at Foxhall. Mark is the father of 13-year-old Rhys, whose mum is Pat's daughter Joanne.
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Pat was with Rhys last Thursday when Loram was badly injured and spent over 20 minutes being attended to be paramedics on the track before being taken to hospital for a five-hour operation.
The rider has since undergone skin grafts to repair the damage caused by his femur breaking through his skin.
“Joanne was twice rushed to hospital with a lung infection,” said Pat. “This was a big worry, but she was allowed home just before the Reading meeting.
“Rhys had one parent home and then had to watch as his dad was taken in to hospital. It was heartbreaking.
“I handled the situation quite well but later in the meeting, when Zibi Suchecki crashed, I lost it a bit and had to get Jeremy to take me home.”
John Louis suffered his fair share of injuries and Pat was present when Jeremy Doncaster broke his leg in his final meeting - a long-track event in Germany.
“That was bad,“ she recalled. “And so were the times when Chris ended up in hospital after crashes in Poland and then Sweden.
“It is a natural mother/child syndrome and along with Chris' wife Julie we rushed over to see Chris in intensive care in Poland.
“When Chris is racing away from Foxhall, I try and keep myself busy so that I do not dwell on what he is doing.
“If the phone rings during an away meeting I do not fear the worse, but it is still a relief when 10pm comes and all is well.”
Pat can be proud of the achievements of riders who have been part of her family but she says: “With respect to Jeremy, I would not marry another speedway rider.
“There is a lot of pain and people do not realise how hard it is for team-mates to get back on a bike after a crash like the one Mark suffered.
“They would all rather have gone home last week. I know Chris was devastated and Tobi Kroner, who had flu anyway, lives with Mark and it hit him hard.
Speedway riders do not get the rewards they deserve. Footballers could not stand the pace - or the pain - yet they get paid much more.”
Pat was not going to watch the meeting between Ipswich and Coventry at Foxhall on Thursday as she felt she needed time to get over the events of the previous week.
But she will be back on Good Friday afternoon when the Witches entertain Lakeside Hammers.