I REALLY like Benji Compton, even if I am just a tincey wincey bit jealous of him.
Not because he’s a speedway rider and I’m not. No, it’s more to do with the fact that he’s a better dancer than me.
I’ve always fancied myself as a bit of a dancefloor demon, you see. I’m very proud of my Summer Nights routine (John Travolta eat your heart out) and I can play a mean air guitar to Summer of 69.
OK, I let myself down a bit when I kicked James Grieves’ mechanic in the nether regions during an over-enthusiastic pogo when the band played Anarchy in the UK at the BSG Christmas party, but overall I think it went pretty well.
But Benji, you see, has that cool swagger than for some reason I can’t manage. Confidence, rhythm, imagination – the boy’s got the lot.
I also happen to think he’s the right choice to wear the Bears’ No 6 jacket.
And that’s why I’m pleased to see him enjoy a decent run of form because, you see, the Benji Compton I saw in the pits after our match at Glasgow in April wasn’t the Benji Compton that tears up the dancefloor like he owns it.
He’d crashed, damaged his newly-repaired bike and scored a big round zero. He looked – and indeed was – a forlorn figure leaning against the wall long after his team-mates had gone of to get changed into their civvies.
I couldn’t leave the pits without going over to see him. Honestly, you’d need a heart the size of the Tin Man’s not to have felt for the lad. He’d been ticking all the right boxes – working on his fitness, toiling away on his bike while his mates were out having fun, focussing all his attention on speedway. I swear I thought he was going to chuck it all in there and then.
All his efforts had brought him that day as a bent bike and a pay cheque for precisely nothing. It’s not as if he’d set the world light before then either.
Watch Benji ride, though. He’s a got determined streak about him and that was obvious when vowed that he would get among the points in the next meeting at Sheffield.
He did, of course, and he’s certainly seemed to have blown away those early season blues – which is why that bright but breezy day in Glasgow seemed a long time ago as we chatted happily after he’d piled up his biggest score of the season, with two wins to boot, after Thursday’s KO Cup win over Newport.
Nice one Benji, keep it up. But be warned – I’m after your mantle as King of the Dancefloor!