READING: Home of 150,000 wannabe cockneys, some hooray Henrys and a lot of concrete.
It’s also (for a short while longer at least) the home of Reading Racers speedway team. Which means there will be a fairly sizeable, loud and outrageously attrired mob of Teessiders in town tomorrow evening.
Some speedway circuits could quite easily be described as rubbish tips – and it Reading’s case that’s entirely accurate since it was built on the site of a former landfill site.
It was only ever supposed to be a temporary home for the town’s greyhound and speedway fraternity while a new stadium was built. And now, only 23 years later, the bulldozer drivers are preparing to don their white hats and start their engines.
There’s still no sign of a new track sprouting up, so while the developers are busy constructing Michanek Mews, KoÃ Âodziej Crescent and Suchanek Street, Racers fans will be sitting at home going slightly mad and beginning to understand how we felt up here for ten, long methanol-free years.
They’re beating back the bulldozers to wheel in some of the stars of yesteryear before Smallmead’s official door locker performs his duty for the final time, and ahead of that they take on the Bears tomorrow.
Havvy and the lads go there looking to protect a 12-point lead from the first leg of their Young Shield quarter-final – which means an aggregate Bears win would catapault them into the history books as the last team ever to leave the stadium with something to celebrate. Look out for that one on A Question of Sport.
I’ll be politely refusing a hot roast Sunday dinner to catch the action and wave my dictaphone around of course. And if previous away trips are anything to go by, there’ll be some tales to tell.
I’m in for another rollercoaster ride, I’m told – you know where to look to find out how it goes!