Injuries force Brummies racer Ritchings into early retirement - The Solihull Observer

Injuries force Brummies racer Ritchings into early retirement

Solihull Editorial 15th Jun, 2017   0

SPEEDWAY: BIRMINGHAM have suffered yet another major setback after captain Darryl Ritchings informed the club of his decision to quit the sport.

It’s the latest in a long line of misfortunes for the Brummies who have already lost Chris Hay to retirement, Danyon Hume and Kean Dicken to injury and have recently been without No.1 Jack Parkinson-Blackburn who was slapped with a period of inactivity by the sport’s governing body.

With reserve Kyle Roberts also nursing an injury and Liam Carr racing through the pain barrier too, Ritchings’ news couldn’t have been timed much worse from a Birmingham point of view.

Team boss Graham Drury said Ritchings’ decision to call time on his speedway career came after he pulled out of Monday night’s meeting at Kent with ongoing problems over an old injury.

Drury said: “I woke up on Tuesday morning and saw I’d got a text off Darryl and though to myself ‘oh great, he’s telling me he feels better and is on his way to the Isle of Wight.’

“However, I couldn’t have been more wrong.

“He told me that he was pulling the plug on speedway and that he’d fallen out of love with the sport.

“It came as a total shock to me but I left it because I thought if I could speak to him over the phone at a later stage.

“But the lad is adamant that his mind is made up and all we can do is respect his decision, wish him all the best and of course we hope to see him back on a bike one day in the future if the timing feels right for him.

“From a team point of view it really does leave us with one huge predicament and it doesn’t need me to tell supporters that we’re up against it when it comes to finding and signing a suitable replacement.”

Ritchings says his decision was made with a heavy heart and has thanked everyone connected with the club for their support over the last 18 months.

He added: “It’s really difficult for me to come to terms with because speedway has been my life and I really do appreciate what everyone at Birmingham has done for me.

“It took a bit of time to convince myself that I was doing the right thing, but after mulling over it for a while I know I’ve made the right decision.

“Since my major accident back in 2014, nothing seems to have gone right from that moment on.

“Even this year I’ve raced through the pain with a broken toe and even though this leg burn might not seem much, it’s some of the worst pain I’ve ever experienced.

“Injuries have eventually taken their toll on me and my head’s not where it should be either.

“I need to find my hunger for the sport again before I even consider coming back further down the line.

“It’s become more of a chore this year whereas when I do Motocross on the weekends, it’s time on a bike that I just enjoy because there’s no pressure on me and I’m not letting anybody down.

“It’s crossed my mind a couple of times before now but with everything that’s been going on I didn’t want to drop Birmingham in it to be honest.

“I know this leaves them in a difficult position now, but last Wednesday was the final straw for me and I knew I had to make my mind up once and for all.”


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