A speedway rider who was left fighting for his life after an horrific crash has finally been allowed home exactly one year on.
Ricky Ashworth, a rider with Berwick Bandits in Northumberland, was left unconscious after suffering serious head injuries in a crash while competing on August 2 last year. He was in a coma for 91 days.
Now, on the eve of the first anniversary of the crash, Ricky has finally been allowed home from hospital. The rider’s family, and club have spoken of their delight.
Ricky, 31, from Manchester, joined the Premier League team in 2012 and was its captain. He has represented Great Britain.
The rider was competing at the meeting at Scunthorpe on August 2 when his bike hit a wall on the track.
Ricky suffered serious head injuries and was left unconscious and taken to hospital in Hull, before later being moved to one in his home city. In November, he woke from his coma after 91 days.
On Friday, the day before the first anniversary of the crash, Ricky was finally allowed home from hospital.
His father Dave took to social media website Facebook on Friday to confirm: “A year on and this is where the real hard work begins!
“This Friday, the same meeting, Berwick vs Scunthorpe. I am so pleased to tell all Ricky’s friends and fans our top Bandit is finally home for good!
“Exactly a year on and the nurses discharged him. He’s currently sat with his close family listening to AC/DC, it’s amazing how much he’s come on considering...
“Since five o’clock when he got home he’s not stopped smiling and singing, still a long journey to go, longest journey of our lives but he’s home and he’s happy! Thank you everyone for everything!”
Mr Ashworth posted on Saturday how Ricky was waiting to cheer on Team GB in the speedway World Cup Final that night.
Sister Jade posted on Twitter on Friday: “Ricky is finally home for good!” She added on Saturday: “Welcome home, exactly a year on.”
The Bandits had not known Ricky’s release was imminent until officials found out on Friday.
In a statement, Ricky club’s said: “Berwick Speedway are delighted to hear that our good friend Ricky Ashworth, has after a year of rehabilitation, been released from hospital.
“It was exactly a year ago at Scunthorpe that Ricky had his accident and it has been a long hard road of recovery to get to where he is now. Ricky will now continue his rehabilitation at home with his family, but hopefully he will be able to visit his many fans and friends at Berwick in the not too distant future.”
Ricky had been allowed out of hospital on day release in recent weeks and had been watching speedway on television at home.
Club spokesman Lawrence Heppell said: “He has not been put off by his experience.”
Mr Heppell said the club hope to “push the boat out” should the rider be able to visit Berwick at some point by organising special activities to mark the occasion.