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Monday, 22 December 2014

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Workington Comets to ride against Newcastle in memory of Ian Thomas

Two of speedway icon Ian Thomas’ former clubs will go one-on-one in his memory.

Ian Thomas photo
Ian Thomas

Thomas was 69 when he died after a cancer battle last February, but his name will forever be synonymous with Workington Comets.

He managed the Comets in the early 1970s and played a major part in re-launching the sport in the town in 1999 after it had folded in 1982.

Thomas was then team manager until 2005 and again from 2008 to 2010, before leaving at the end of last season.

In a career that took him across the world, Thomas worked with some of the sport’s greatest riders including Barry Briggs, Ivan Mauger and Jason Crump.

Comets will face-off against Newcastle Diamonds in the inaugural Ian Thomas Shield next season.

The two-legged fixture, which was put together with the agreement of Thomas’ wife Dot, kicks off at Derwent Park on March 30 with the away match the following day.

Meanwhile, current Comets owner Laura Morgan has announced reduced ticket prices for next season.

Tickets are down £2 to £13, which includes a race card.

The club has branded the promotion “Thirteen for Thirteen”, and has abandoned match programmes, preferring to promote themselves through the new website, and social media.

Students and concessions pay £9.50, children aged five-15 £4 and children under-fives are free.

Season tickets will be £210 for adults, £155 for concessions and £82 for juniors.

Morgan is also introducing a book of 10 tickets for £115 for adults, £85 for concessions and £45 for juniors.

She said season tickets and advance tickets are available through Comets’ website when it launches in December.

“We have been targeting a cost reduction for supporters,” said Morgan.

“Because the price could be and probably is the main reason why some fans have not been coming to meetings.

“It takes the prices back to where we were in 2006 and we are putting our faith in the fans and hope that they will flock back.”

Morgan was pleased with how the British Speedway Promoters’ Association conference went last week which saw Workington nominated as a track which could host a test match between GB and Australia in what would be a five match series raced on Premier League tracks.

The match would feature Premier League and Elite League riders who would qualify to ride in the Premier League on their average.

British riders who could be included are ex-Comet Simon Stead, Edward Kennett and Lewis Bridger as well as possibly local riders Craig Cook and Richard Lawson and Morgan said it would be a fantastic match for the supporters.

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