The Lakeside Hammers, in proud association with The Royal Navy, are delighted to announce that their number one and Great Britain International, Lee Richardson, will be staying at the Club for 2011 and beyond after they agreed terms with his parent club, Swindon, for a full transfer to Essex this winter.
The move came quickly on the back of Richardson informing the Robins management that he wished to make his loan to the Hammers permanent after a second season in the claret and blue.
“It was always my intention to return to Swindon at some time as I have many good friends there and the fans have always been brilliant to me but I have enjoyed my time at Lakeside so much that this is where I want to ride for the rest of my career.” said the Hastings based rider. “It’s close to home so my family can come up and watch, and my main sponsor Hagon Shocks is just down the road. Working with Stuart (Douglas ) and Jon (Cook) is great fun and as Captain I want to play a full role in helping build winning teams for the fans here in the years ahead. I wish Swindon every success and thank them for the speed at which they have allowed this to be sorted.”
Team Owner Stuart Douglas stated: “I am absolutely delighted with this superb piece of news. It’s not that often that a rider of Lee’s undoubted quality becomes available. The fact that Lee has actively made this happen is hugely significant and it gives us our own quality number one for the first team since we took control of the Club. It is a huge piece in our retained list of riders that should see us able to compete at the highest level for many seasons to come.”
The Hammers boss went on to add: “Lee has been a breath of fresh air since his first day with us, and starting the season without him probably reinforced that fact more than any of us could have imagined. The fans absolutely love him and this is a great day for The Hammers.”
Further good news arrived in the shape of a double swoop as the Hammers have confirmed that they will also be purchasing the contract of Swindon asset Peter Ljung, who has been a revelation since his late arrival in Hammers colours this season, after several years away from British Speedway.
“I’ve been a fan of Peter for many years.” said Team Manager Jon Cook on the double signing. “To have Peter join us at the same time as Lee is a huge bonus as his average is a steal on his form so far.
“On a personal level, having first brought Peter to the UK and seen him move on to not give UK Speedway a proper go, it’s excellent that I can work with him again to the benefit of both the rider and Club. That, in conjunction with the fact that I love working with Lee immensely, is tremendous news for the 2011 season.”
Both Richardson and Ljung are sure to be given a great reception by the fans at the Hammers next home meeting, which takes place at 8pm this Friday, 24th September, at the Arena-Essex Raceway. That meeting will see the Eastbourne Eagles as the opposition in the 2nd leg of their Knockout Cup tie. The 1st leg of this mouth watering encounter will take place the previous evening, Thursday 23rd September, at the Eagles Arlington Stadium.
The winners of this tie will then go on to face the winners of the Coventry versus Wolverhampton tie in the Semi Final stage of the competition. The Hammers are the current holders of the Cup having won it last season after having defeated Coventry in the Final.