IF you see a black cat crossing your path while you’re out and about, don’t worry about running it over – Greg Blair will do that for you.
Talk about bad luck. This time last year he was just a young lad looking to make his mark in speedway but, once the season started, he very quickly showed us what a great young talent he is.
But then, just as he was beginning to establish himself as major force in the Conference League, he shattered his elbow while riding for the Cleveland Bays in what was arguably the most frightening crash ever seen at South Tees Motorsports Park.
It was a long road back but, after spending the winter gearing up for a new season with the rebranded Redcar Cubs, bang! Another serious injury.
This time it was a broken femur, the result of a crash while guesting for Berwick at Glasgow.
Ironically it would never have happened but for one of speedway’s notoriously unfathomable rules.
That’s because Blair had been drafted it to replace Manu Hauzinger at No 5 – yes, that’s right a heat leader position – after the Austrian broke a collarbone during a practice session.
And speedway’s infamous rulebook states that, if a rider has yet to ride for his team, he can only be replaced by a junior yet to achieve a PL average. So, because Hauzinger had signed just before the start of the season, the Bandits were left bamboozled.
Berwick boss Peter Waite comes it for a bit of stick here and there, but you couldn’t help but have sympathy for him. “Glasgow have lost Ross Brady before heÃ¢ÂÂs turned a wheel for them this season,” he complained, “not in a speedway match, but skiing! And they are given the full facility to cover his absence!
Ã¢ÂÂIt really is not right and itÃ¢ÂÂs a situation I am far from happy with. Why should we be penalised when other teams seem to get away with it?”
Waite has promised to take the matter further, although none of that will be of any help to poor Greg as he embarks on another long road to recovery.
He was due to have surgery today and will remain on Ward 15 of the RVI Hospital in Glasgow until around Thursday or Friday.
His leg was due to be pinned and a permanent rod inserted in an operation today.
Greg, I wish you well and I’m sure the whole speedway community does too. It’s been a painful and difficult start to your career, but just wait ’til you get a run of decent luck.