A speedway rider who suffered serious head injuries in a crash was due to undergo a medical procedure in hospital yesterday as North East fans continued to pray that he makes a full recovery.
Berwick Bandits’ rider Ricky Ashworth, 30, remains unconscious in a specialist neurological ward at Hull Royal Infirmary, after losing control of his bike and hitting a barrier during a race in Scunthorpe, North Lincolnshire, on Friday night.
The Bandits were competing against Scunthorpe Scorpions in the Premier League fixture when Ricky crashed during the 11th heat.
Doctors confirmed that no bones in his neck were broken, but he has suffered head injuries and medical staff are maintaining his unconscious state so that he is as relaxed as possible.
His condition is described as serious but stable.
Ricky, who comes from Salford, Lancashire, joined the Berwick team last year after riding for Sheffield Tigers.
There is added concern about his condition as he has already suffered two concussions earlier this season.
Yesterday Berwick Bandits press officer, Lawrence Heppell, said: “The only further update is that Ricky is going through a medical procedure today to ease his situation and try to kick-start his recovery.
“They will then do tests to see what effect this procedure has had, and take further decisions on his treatment from there.
“With this sort of injury they are looking longer term rather than short term, so he could be in this state for some time yet.
“He has suffered head injuries and scans are looking deeper at what has happened. With the history he has of two previous concussions, there are concerns there and they are conferring with his previous specialists.”
Ricky was taken to hospital after careering into a section of barrier that was not padded at the Eddie Wright Raceway.
The meeting was abandoned as all paramedics were needed to care for him.
The Bandits won Saturday night’s fixture against Edinburgh Monarchs 46-44 after the riders decided to go ahead with the match in support of their stricken team mate.
A statement on Ricky’s condition was given to the crowd.
Mr Heppell said: “After what happened on Friday the riders were asked whether they wanted to ride on Saturday or not, and to a man they said they would go ahead with the meeting to show Ricky what they could do.
“People are willing him to make a full recovery and all we can do is hope for the best, because there is nothing definite yet in terms of his injuries.
“I know that Ricky’s parents have said the response on social networking sites has been tremendous, and they are incredibly grateful for all the messages.”
Ricky was out of action for six to eight weeks following his last accident, and had only been back riding for a month when he crashed on Friday.