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Shock as Peterborough Panthers closure announced

It's been announced that Peterborough Panthers speedway club are to close down. Credit: Peterborough Panthers

It's been announced that Peterborough Panthers speedway club are to close down after owners Rick Frost and Julie Mahoney confirmed that the club will not be competing in next season's Elite League.

The news will end a 44 year stay in speedway's top flight for the Panthers, with serious financial concerns being blamed for the closure.

Danish rider Kenneth Bjerre will be one Panther looking for a new club next season. Credit: PA

The Panthers will be replaced by Leicester Lions in the Elite League next season.

The club could still compete at a lower level in future years if new owners can be found.

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Former speedway rider jailed over soldier gang attack

Jerran Hart, 22 Credit: Suffolk Police

A former speedway rider, once rated as one of the best prospects in the country, has been jailed for his part in a gang attack on a serving soldier in Ipswich.

22-year-old Jerran Hart, who rode for Mildenhall and Ipswich, was given a three-and-half year sentence for the robbery of the 21-year-old.

Four men, aged between 20 and 26, were given prison sentences ranging from 30 months to three years and nine months.

They surrounded the soldier before robbing him of his phone and wallet and knocking him unconscious in Queens Way in June this year.

A man was assaulted on June 6. Credit: Suffolk Police

Former speedway champion charged with rape

The former World Speedway Champion, Michael Lee, has been charged with rape.

Suffolk Police have confirmed that they've charged the 54 year old, from Worlington near Mildenhall, with two counts of rape, two of sexual assault, and one of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

The offences are alleged to have taken place between June 2008 and December 2012 and relate to two women.

The former King's Lynn rider was crowned World Champion in 1980. He's now co-promoter of the Mildenhall Fen Tigers. He's due to appear before magistrates on 21 October.

Stars appeal win boosts play-off hopes

Kozza Smith Credit: PA

King's Lynn Stars Speedway have received a boost to their play-off hopes after winning appeal over using a guest rider in the meeting against Peterborough.

Stars had 2 points deducted after the Speedway Control Board officer said Kozza Smith was ineligible to compete.

An appeal hearing this morning overturned the ruling. It means Stars are now just four points off the play-off places.

Stars name Lyon as co-promoter

Rob Lyon Credit: British Speedway Promoters Association

King's Lynn Stars have announced that team manager Rob Lyon has become co-promoter of Elite League speedway side.

Former Great Britain manager Lyon has headed the Norfolk Arena Club since 2005.

He said: “Buster (Chapman) had spoken to me about the possibility of becoming involved on the promotional side to ease the burden of the day-to-day running of the club.

“I was happy to accept, and I hope I can have a positive influence on not only Kings Lynn, but also speedway in general, as it is a difficult time in the sport for all concerned as we all know at the moment.”

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Tigers race to National League title

Mildenhall Tigers Speedway team were crowned National League Champions last night after winning their National League Play-off Final, 2nd leg.

Mildenhall beat Dudley 54 to 39, winning the final 91-90 on aggregate.

Speaking on the club website, co-promoter Michael Lee said:

I can't quite believe that we've done this. I am so proud of every one of the team tonight. They all worked so hard as they have done all year and they deserve all the success they've achieved...

When we restarted Mildenhall two years ago we were determined to give our fantastic supporters a club to be proud of. Tonight we've done just that and it's a season that none of us is ever going to forget."

– Michael Lee

Speedway final switched from Mildenhall to King's Lynn

The 2nd leg of the speedway National League Grand Final tomorrow night (24 October) has been moved from Mildenhall to the Norfolk Arena at King's Lynn.

The Mildenhall Fen Tigers say a weekend of stock car racing followed by bad weather has made it impossible to prepare the Suffolk track in time.

"When I saw the state of the track yesterday I sank to my knees in disbelief...

"The fog and damp this morning have made things worse than ever. The fence is caked in wet dripping mud, the centre is like mud soup and the track itself is no more than a mud bowl.

"The weather has finally beaten us this time and I can only apologise... But with no other dates left at Mildenhall we had no option but to switch to King's Lynn".

– Michael Lee, Mildenhall Fen Tigers
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