Heathens prepare for new season at launch event

Halesowen News: Cradley manager Will Pottinger with the new retro race jacket. Pic: John Hipkiss. Cradley manager Will Pottinger with the new retro race jacket. Pic: John Hipkiss.

CRADLEY are set to roll back the years after unveiling their new race jacket for the 2014 speedway season.

Heathens boss Will Pottinger displayed the traditional Cradley Heathens bib, used at Dudley Wood in the halcyon days of the 60s by legendary names like Ivor Brown and Harry Bastable, at a packed Cradley Heath Liberal Club during the team's official season launch event last Saturday.

Heathens chiefs have been inundated with messages from fans who have given the move the thumbs-up.

Pottinger said: “The new race jacket has gone down really well and there’s a lot of interest in it. It’s the first time a Cradley team have been in competitive league racing since 1995, although they were known as Cradley and Stoke a year later.

“A lot of supporters have been in touch to say how the new race jacket has made them happy and that’s great from our point of view.”

The revamped 2014 Heathens were presented to over 170 fans at the Liberal Club for the season launch and over £1,400 was raised to be shared between the riders.

“It was a remarkable total and at this time of year, when riders are busy organising their equipment, I’m sure the money will come in handy for them.

“Some of the lads were a bit nervous but it was a great night and thanks to everyone who came along,” added Pottinger.

The new range of Cradley merchandise was also well received by supporters and the club has now become the only speedway team in the UK to have a presence on the high street.

Printworx of Quarry Bank have handed over a large part of their premises to sell Cradley merchandise and the shop is open Monday to Saturday, except on Wednesdays.

The club is also planning to have a presence at several events throughout the year to promote the sport, including Netherton Boat Show and Old Hill Festival.

Heathens launch their home campaign against Coventry at Wolverhampton on Tuesday, April 1 in the second leg of the Travel Plus Trophy. The first leg is at Brandon on Friday, March 21.

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