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NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT LEAGUE RIDERS’ FINAL: SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 25 – SCUNTHORPE

ADAM ROYNON shockingly revealed he has “died twice” chasing the dream of being a speedway rider.

It’s a remarkable throwaway line from the Barrow-born battler who is still banging bars in his 20th season of racing which started back in 2003.

Roynon, now 34, has spent more time in hospitals than Florence Nightingale with a horrendous medical record including brain trauma, blood clots and a broken leg, back, neck and ankle.

Yet beyond all the scars and horsepower horrors, there is a fascinating personality that left school with A-levels in psychology, sports science and health care and is now studying to be a chiropractor. Plus there’s now a budding career in commentating.

But there’s no talk of hanging up the torn and well-worn kevlars just yet. Royno is still loving skidding. Incredibly he lines up in the National League Riders’ Championship at Scunthorpe on Sunday 16 YEARS after he last won the third tier title.

Tai Woffinden took that trophy off him a year

ROY STO

Unlucky Adam Roynon aims for an incredible new chapter of third tier glory. By PHIL LANNING

later and he admits it’s hard to accept that his career blighted with injuries didn’t take the same upward trajectory as the three-time World Champion.

In a wonderfully frank interview, Roynon admitted: “Riding in the National League Riders’ final again, the first word that comes into my head is unfortunate. For whatever reason it just hasn’t happened for me.

“I’ve still loved every minute of everything that I’ve done in speedway. But in my mind I expected to achieve great things.

“But the injuries have put paid to that. It just hasn’t happened for me mainly because of that.

“It’s so hard to come back from injuries year after year. When riders are injury-free you see them progressing. But I’ve had something every single year.

“When you come back from injuries you are expected to be straight on the pace with them but it obviously is so tough.

“I know the number of injuries in my head. I never like to talk about it. I always say it could be worse.

“I’ve lost my life a couple of times and I’ve had broken backs. I’ve died twice.

“It’s not something you shout about or talk about much. I know it’s happened with brain trauma injuries but it’s never discussed as such when you leave hospitals and things like that.”

For all the setbacks, Roynon has still had a stellar career. He’s the typical spit and sawdust speed star, accumulating 20 clubs in his two decades on the track.

There’s been big highs including that Conference Riders’ Championship win in 2006 after winning the Conference League, Trophy and KO Cup in 2004 with Mildenhall. He also won the Premier League with Rye House in 2007 and Premier League Pairs at Workington a decade ago.

That’s not a bad record for the son of exPlymouth, Barrow and Workington ace Chris a similar gritty track performer from 1968 to 1980.

Royno junior added: “You’ve got to chase the dreams. When I’m at the start line and I point up to the sky, I always say to myself: live the dream.

“Because that’s what I’m doing, I’m living the dream. It might not be the dream that I expected. When I put sand down in my back garden to do skids on my push bike when I was a kid, the dream was that I wanted to be a speedway rider.

“You have massive expectations of yourself. You can only run with what you can afford within your budget.

“I’ve never gone and chased the big sponsors because I don’t expect someone else to fund my dream. It’s up to me to be able to do that.

“My career could have been a lot better but the glimpses that I have in certain meetings throughout the year prove to me that I’ve still got it.

“It’s a sad fact that somewhere deep in my mind I don’t want to get hurt again. Maybe I am taking it easy in some races and some meetings.

“Sometimes I’m just still in race mode. Not so much chasing back wheels but going for gaps that aren’t really there.

24 speedway star September 24, 2022

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