COME a little closer and give me a hug – I’m feeling quite sad.
Not only is speedway over for another year, but you could say it’s the end of an era too.
In truth, when Ty Proctor announced he would be riding full-time in the Elite League next year, it was about as surprising as leaving your car in a Liverpool suburb and returning to find the hubcaps missing.
But the point was that it was an open secret no longer. It was fact – Ty will not be riding for the Bears next year.
Naturally I’m happy for him and I’m sure you are too – he’s a terrifically entertaining and talented rider who will go far in the sport and deserves every morsel of success he achieves.
A more determined and ambitious character it’s almost impossible to find and he’s already shown he can mix it with the big boys.
I remember as a young kid coming home from school to be solemnly told that our pet cat Seamus had “gone to see his mummy and wasn’t coming back” (in reality we lived near an industrial estate and you don’t need me to tell you that moggies and 18-wheel artics don’t play very well together, but you get the picture).
Then, as now, life goes on – but there’ll be something missing.
We’ll miss the wins, the wheelies, the sound of Land Down Under over the tannoy and, if we’re honest, the tantrums too – though they became less regular as his time on Teesside went on.
He arrived as a total unknown. Could he hack it over here? Wasn’t it a big ask to live up to an assessed five-point average?
In the event we needn’t have worried. A four-point return on his debut at Stoke in March last year was a modest return – but it had us nodding contentedly and knowing instantly that we had, at the very least, a solid middle order man on our hands.
He soon proved to be more than that, scoring double figures at will and bashing the living daylights out of the pit wall when he didn’t. And sometimes when he did.
This year he replaced Havvy as the Bears No 1 and made it onto the rostrum at the Premier League Riders’ Championship.
From unknown Aussie to Redcar hero – Ty Proctor, we salute you and wish you well.
As he left South Tees Motorsports Park for the last time as a Redcar rider, Ty revealed how we hopes the fans will continue to follow him and that he’s “always be a Redcar Bear.”
You certainly will Ty – we’ll make sure of that.
DON’T forget to log on to In the Pits for a special live blog on Saturday, November 7 when the official Bears Rider of the Year winner will be revealed!