ACK the lad has become a man.
Baby-faced Thomas boasts a cheeky smile, black earring and an infectious, playful personality.
JBut underneath the bubbly nature and boyband looks, he now has a very different outlook on life. Thomas, 21, admits it’s been a rollercoaster few years which has seen him gain new perspective watching his parents become foster carers, almost losing his speedway career and living in a van abroad to survive.
He even reveals in a brutally frank interview that he can be “irritating” and that motorbikes probably saved him from going down the wrong path in life after nightmare school days where he was bullied.
Norwich-born Thomas spoke to me from his temporary base in Lodz, Poland, where he’s taking part in an eve-of-season training camp with fellow young Brit Tom Brennan.
He admits that seeing less privileged kids has made him think different about his own future. There’s clearly a lot more to this lad than meets the eye and in his slight Norfolk twang accent, he revealed: “My mum and dad have fostered young kids since the start of 2018.
Jack Thomas on his new outlook on life after nightmare school days and almost losing career. Exclusive by PHIL LANNING
“They’ve got a girl of eight and a boy, five. My mum wanted to do it and quit her job at the hospital and I’ve gained a little brother and sister which is great.
“It’s a very hard job in so many ways for my mum but equally very rewarding.
“I have to be honest, it’s made me appreciate what I’ve had and my upbringing. I live on a farm in the countryside and to have that life has made me realise how lucky I’ve been without other worries.
“When you know there are so many children who are less fortunate, it makes you think of the bigger picture and appreciate what you have.
“If it wasn’t for speedway I might have gone down some paths I shouldn’t have in life.
“I wasn’t interested in school, it was a nightmare. I didn’t want to be there. The first two years of high school I was bullied quite a lot. That was probably because I was lippy. I’ve always said what I’m thinking and a lot of people don’t like that.
“When you’re little and you’ve got big kids on the school bus, you’re going to get stick. I learnt the hard way. It made me rebel against school.
“Mum and dad needed something to keep me from thinking about school and give me something to focus on and look forward to at weekends. So I had motocross bikes, starting with grasstrack because my godfather is Edward Bales at Poultec who raced when he was younger.
“My way of dealing with things was to just jump on a bike and take my anger out on a
JACK TO TH
24 speedway star March 27 2021