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SPEEDWAY BEST PAIRS

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How did you two meet and who made the first move? Emma-Louise recounted that it was Bomber who, surprisingly, made the gate this time. “We had seen each other quite a few times at Coventry Speedway. He came over one day and said, ‘hi’.”

Chris has a reputation for missing the gate and blasting from last to first – can you give me any examples of when he makes things easy, outside of speedway? “He makes any sport look easy, except golf because he’s rubbish at it! A few years ago, I arranged for him to have ski lessons and I watched on thinking he would be like Bambi on ice. He was annoyingly a natural within the first 15 minutes on the slopes. The instructor said he didn’t need to stay in the group and told him he could go to the top and carry on – within the first hour, he was skiing like a pro and making it look so easy!”

Is Bomber thinking about a crack at the World Ice Speedway crown?

What was the first meeting you saw Chris ride in and how did you feel? “I’ve been going to speedway since I was three weeks old and had seen Chris race many times before we got together. The first meeting I watched him race, at Coventry, as a couple, I felt sick to my stomach and watched mostly with my eyes closed.

“I still do now to be honest, and generally rely on the crowd’s reaction or commentary to know how the race is going. It’s a roller coaster of emotions every time he goes on track, but I’m always super proud of him and all he’s achieved.”

Wow! And here was me thinking that watching Chris was therapeutic...

vividly remember Chris winning the 2007 Grand Prix at Cardiff. I lost my voice and air-horn as I punched the air when he beat Greg Hancock. How did you react? Mrs. Harris and I were, on this occasion, on the same page. “We weren’t a couple at the time, but I was cheering him on and lost my voice!”

At home, what is he good at? “He’s good at being a real character – always the joker and the wind-up merchant to me and the kids and he makes the house more fun.”

I’m awaiting confirmation from EmmaLouise that Chris will be available for my mate Arthur’s third birthday party in June. ‘Mrs. Bomber’ added: “He’s definitely not a DIY man, and you’ll often find me decorating rather than Chris who becomes ‘supervisor’.”

Does he sulk and if so, over what? “Yes! He has been known to sulk many times. When he loses a board game at home, when adverts are on in the middle of a film and if he’s had a bad race or meeting. Colin Pratt and I nicknamed him ‘Happy Harris’!”

In fairness, landing on a hotel in Mayfair generally encourages me to stomp off in a huff too.

On track, we see the swashbuckling, adrenalin charged champions of speed. Risk takers and racers. But after removing the helmet and boots, and securing the motorcycle, is life more akin to Hollywood or Borehamwood? And what is it actually like living with a speedway rider? Moody and sulky, or steady and compassionate? And do they have to be reminded of key birthdays and to put the bins out? There was only one way to find out – have a natter with Emma-Louise, the wife of our British hero Chris ‘Bomber’ Harris

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am absolutely useless at DIY and dancing. What is Chris utterly hopeless at? It became abundantly clear that Chris and I were separated at birth since in addition to our lacklustre skills of DIY and golf, Emma-Louise highlighted another joint disaster zone – cooking!

’m brilliant at annoying my partner. What does Chris excel at? “He’s an absolutely great dad. He’s fantastic at pretty much any sport and particularly brilliant at annoying me, especially during the race season when he’s full on busy and needs things organising.” Brothers in arms yet again!

Actor and comedian Jim Carrey once quipped: “Behind every successful man is a woman rolling her eyes.” How do you react when you see Chris being interviewed on the telly? “I still smile when he’s being interviewed as he puts on his interview voice and talks more Cornish. I think he always stays true to himself and doesn’t just say what he thinks they want to hear. We usually have a sign between us, which he will use, such as a hand signal or a wink – like a secret language.”

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etween you and me only, which speedway team has his heart? “Coventry Bees, without a doubt.”

oes he need to be reminded of birthdays? “No, he remembers everyone’s birthday and remembers our anniversary.” Ah, Bomber, this is where you and I start to distance ourselves from one another.

Does he put the bins out without prompting? “Yes, he’s very good at bin duty. I’m rubbish, and when Chris is away, I have to rely on the neighbours to know which bins need to be put out.”

What do you think of the typical food available at speedway stadium outlets? “I find the food options at the stadiums very limited – just fast food. There never seem to be any healthy options and it’s very limited for anyone with allergens. Two of our children are allergic to dairy and we haven’t found any allergen friendly stadiums so far, which is disappointing. I generally take food with us or we get something on our travels.”

BOMBER AT H

38 speedway star May 7, 2022

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