‘We’re going to do it for Danny this season’... Ipswich Witches skipper King
- Credit: Archant
Ipswich Witches captain Danny King says Danny Ayres will be uppermost in the team’s thoughts throughout the Premiership speedway season this summer.
Ayres, who had signed a contract to ride for the Witches in 2020, died recently, aged 33.
He was set to ride for Ipswich in the sport's top league and had already impressed in a couple of guest appearances for the Foxhall Heath side in 2019. King was not alone in looking forward to racing with him.
"We're going to do it for Danny this season," he said.
"He's going to be our eighth man throughout. I know how much he was looking forward to racing for Ipswich this season. We are all still very numb and upset about what has happened.
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"Danny rode for us on a couple of occasions last year and he was just a great bloke to have around. And improving so much as a rider.
"He really wanted to ride for us and I know he often spoke to Ritchie Hawkins about a team spot. It was going to be so brilliant he was going to be able to ride for us this year.
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"It will be impossible not to think about him. He's part of our team, simple as that."
Ipswich promoter Chris Louis echoed King's thoughts.
"This year for Ipswich Speedway is about honouring Danny, he is a Witch," said Louis.
"Although he didn't officially turn a wheel as an official Witch, that is not the way we feel about it. He will be our eighth rider all season long and we will be honouring that on our kevlars."
The Witches are all set to take part in a special fundraising meeting at Mildenhall on Sunday, June 7, at 3pm, called Danny's Day.
"We will be playing a very active role in Danny's Day, not just by representing ourselves as a team on the day but we will be doing everything we can between now and then to raise money for it and we want to make it a hugely fun and ultimately successful day as that is what Danny would have wanted and it important for his family," Louis added.
Ayres also rode for Mildenhall Fen Tigers in the National League. Fen Tigers promoter Greg Palmer echoed Louis' thoughts.
"We are proud as a club to be hosting this event in Danny's memory, he was a special person and was so proud to ride for Mildenhall, as we were to have him in our team," said Palmer.
"We will do everything in our power to make this a special occasion and put together a day that everyone will remember."