A YOUNG speedway rider from Huntingdon has spoken of his joy at securing his place in the country s top side. Danny King, 20, moved on a year-long loan to Peterborough Panthers from Ipswich Witches, amid a controversy storm, but says he is happy in his ne

Danny King

A YOUNG speedway rider from Huntingdon has spoken of his joy at securing his place in the country's top side.

Danny King, 20, moved on a year-long loan to Peterborough Panthers from Ipswich Witches, amid a controversy storm, but says he is happy in his new surroundings.

He said: "It was nice to be able to join a team that had won the league last season and hopefully we can continue that winning mentality, despite a bit of a disappointing start.

"I haven't had the best start to the season but I am confident things will pick up and I am very happy to be where I want to be."

Speedway riders compete up to two or three times a week in the national league, which stretches across Britain from Poole to Edinburgh.

The bikes have no brakes and no gears and reach speeds of 85mph on some of the country's bigger tracks.

Despite breaking his collar bone and his leg in previous accidents, King considers himself to have been 'lucky' with injuries.

"The dangerous side of the sport is something that you have to accept if you are going to race. If you are going into the race worried about getting injured then you are not concentrating 100 per cent and it is, in fact, more dangerous."

Incredibly, King regularly flies out to Poland to race - often flying out and returning in the space of 24 hours. He said: "The sport is incredibly popular in Poland and, crazy as it might seem, there is financial gain in making the trips - and it is nice to race somewhere with such a passion for the sport."

King, who lives in Hartford, has been in Huntingdon for three years since moving from his family home in Kent to be with his girlfriend, whom he met through speedway.

"Living in Huntingdon it is a shorter journey for home matches but we are travelling up and down the country all the time anyway," he said.

King has already represented England U21s and is a double World U21 Championship finalist and says he has ambitions of riding for his country.

He admits he enjoys being recognised in the street and says he has a good relationship with the supporters.

Despite racing for the Panthers, King is in need of sponsorship to help fund his racing.

He said: "Speedway is a very expensive sport and I spent every single penny I have on equipment for the seasons.

"After crashing in a match against Reading I was left with a hefty repair bill and there is some frustration in not being able to fully establish myself because I cannot afford to improve my equipment sufficiently.

"Any offers for sponsorship help, big or small, would be greatly appreciated."

The British Speedway League is covered extensively on Sky Sports.

INFORMATION: Any companies or individuals interested in sponsoring King should contact Sarah Miles on 07785293018.

* The Mayor of Peterborough will honour Peterborough Panthers' achievement in winning the league at a special ceremony tomorrow night (Thursday). A special plaque will be presented by Councillor Michael Burton at the club's match against Eastbourne.