Get involved! Send your photos, video, news & views by texting HL NEWS to 80360 or e-mail us
Heathens legend hopes to help stadium bid
8:46am Thursday 12th July 2012 in Sport
ERIK Gundersen is hoping to use his visit to Dudley to help raise the profile of the bid for a new track for the Heathens.
The triple world champion, widely regarded as Cradley’s greatest ever rider, says he’d love to see the club return to the area.
And he’s hoping the publicity and interest generated from his visit for An Evening with Erik Gundersen at the Venue Banqueting Suits next Friday (July 20) will help keep the project in the public eye.
Heathens bosses remain determined to work on finding a new track alongside Gornal Athletic FC and they are set to hold talks with Dudley Council officials in the near future.
Gundersen, who has lived back in Denmark since his glittering career was ended by injury in 1989, is relishing the prospect of turning the clock back at the same time as casting an eye to the future.
He said: “I just can’t wait to get over to England and to see so many familiar faces from the old Cradley days.
“It was such a massive part of my life and it would make me so happy to see them back racing at their own track.
“I follow the results of the team from here in Denmark and it’s nice to see them doing well and it’s amazing the crowds and the following they are getting for home meetings at Wolverhampton.
“But Cradley, Dudley and the people deserve their own track and when I first read about the plans with the football people I thought it looked a win-win situation.
“I’ve seen how Jan O Pedersen and Greg Hancock have been left buzzing by going back there and meeting the fans from the Cradley days and I can’t wait to come and do the same.”
A limited number of tickets for the evening with Gundersen, priced £10, will be available on the door on a first come, first served basis.
A special 40-page colour brochure on Gundersen’s career, with more than 100 pictures, will be available from next Friday priced £5, which can be ordered from dudleyheathens.co Meanwhile, Heathens will be without in-form Tom Perry for their National League clash with Scunthorpe at Monmore Green next Tuesday, July 17.
Perry is riding for his Premier League outfit Somerset in their meeting at Ipswich and Heathens have no choice but to use the rider replacement facility.
And as he hasn’t yet established a new 2012 average, he remains only fourth in the current Heathens rankings and that means Adam Roynon and Ashley Morris can’t take one of his rides.
Heathens boss Will Pottinger said: “It’s a massive blow to be without Tom for this meeting and it makes it that bit harder for us.
“We have been on a great run of form and Tom has been a different rider this year. He’s on an average of less than six from last season but he’s actually riding more on a 10-point figure right now.
“You simply cannot replace a rider like that.”