Berwick Bandits ace Ricky Ashworth still fighting for life

Ricky Ashworth, a rider with Berwick Bandits, suffered harrowing head injuries in the smash while riding for the team at Scunthorpe on Friday night

Ricky Ashworth
Ricky Ashworth

A speedway rider continued to fight for life last night following a serious crash.

Ricky Ashworth, a rider with Berwick Bandits, suffered harrowing head injuries in the smash while riding for the team at Scunthorpe on Friday night.

He was left unconscious and taken to hospital in Hull where his condition was described as serious but stable.

Yesterday, the Bandits released a statement giving an update on Ricky’s condition.

It said: “Ricky came off his machine during heat 11 of the match between Scunthorpe and Berwick.

“He was chasing an opponent, and on the third lap his efforts caused an over-slide as he emerged from the fourth bend, his rear wheel appeared to make contact with the safety fence and he was thrown forward onto the track -- Ricky himself did not make contact with the fence – and rendered unconscious on landing.

“The Scunthorpe track and paramedic staff were excellent in their treatment of the rider, and he was removed to hospital with all possible care, and without delay.

“Since then, although all his vital organs are healthy and no orthopaedic damage is in evidence, Ricky has not yet regained consciousness.

“He is getting the best of attention at Hull, and monitored constantly under the intensive care of specialist staff.

“Ricky Ashworth’s situation has not changed since his admission to hospital.

“He was visited yesterday by Scunthorpe promoter Rob Godfrey and Sheffield’s Neil Machin (the rider’s former promoter) who have confirmed his situation.”

Ricky, 30, who comes from Salford, Greater Manchester, joined the Premier League team last year after previously riding for Sheffield Tigers.

Friday’s meeting was abandoned after the crash.

Club officials revealed at the weekend that there is added concern about Ricky’s condition as he has already suffered two concussions this season.

The Bandits’ fixture against Edinburgh Monarchs went ahead on Saturday after his colleagues decided to proceed in support of their stricken team mate, with Berwick winning 46-44.

The Bandits have since dedicated the win to the injured rider.

Meanwhile, the club has announced that the FIM World Under-21 Final round two practice session on Saturday will be open to the public, in return for donations to Ricky.

It starts at 11am with gates open from 10.45am.

Wristbands are being offered for sale by a supporters group to raise funds for the injured rider.

These were being offered on eBay but sold out, although more are to be made.

The bands are made by the Bandits 2012 Group, Ricky’s sponsor this year.

Messages of support for the rider have been posted on social networking sites since Friday’s accident.

A club spokesman said at the weekend: “People are willing him to make a full recovery and all we can do is hope for the best.”

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