Monday October 28, 2019
CHAMPIONSHIP winners Leicester have been handed a major double boost – as thoughts turn to replicating their success in 2020.

Main sponsors Watling JCB have agreed a new two-year extension to their deal to continue what has proved to be a hugely successful relationship between the parties.

And co-promoter and Stewart Dickson has also confirmed he will be back for next season after an incredible debut campaign with the club.

Watling JCB first backed the Lions in 2017, sticking with them during some tough Premiership seasons and then remaining on board for the switch back to Championship racing.

The company’s Head Office is in Whetstone, Leicestershire, and Sales Director Andy Raine is a lifelong speedway fan.

Co-promoter Neil Machin said: “Watling JCB have again been pro-active this year, planning numerous projects throughout the season and never far from the action, sometimes away from home.

“It has again been a breath of fresh air to project the global JCB identity and our conjoined corporate presence has certainly raised the profile of Leicester Speedway generally.”

Dickson, meanwhile, was brought in by club owners the Bates family just over a year ago, charged with reviving the Lions’ fortunes on-track.

The results have been spectacular as they topped the league table, won the title in the play-offs and also took the Championship Shield, as well as completing an unbeaten home record throughout the campaign.

Extensive track work over the year, fronted by Dickson, has also resulted in some of the best racing seen at the venue since it opened in 2011.

Dickson said: “I would like to put on record that 2019 will go down as one of my most enjoyable years in the sport.

“I would like to thank the Bates family for taking a chance on me and reintroducing me to the sport after a year out, they have backed me all season and supported me in any decision I have made.

“To my fellow promoters, Dave (Darcy) and Neil, thank you for making me feel such a part of a wonderful and successful promotion.

“I would like to thank my riders for their commitment and determination to complete a historic double that was superbly achieved despite injuries and setbacks throughout the season. For me, everyone was a hero and will go down in Leicester Speedway’s Hall of Fame.

“To the supporters who have backed us at home every Saturday and on our travels throughout the season, I’m so glad that we as a team have managed to put a smile on so many people’s faces and delivered the league title that they have craved for.

“To all the track staff and volunteers, and a special thanks to Hugh McNielly for accompanying me all season and to Andy, Mick and Richard for helping me with the track, thank you, the club simply wouldn’t function without you.

“To Andy Raine and JCB for their continued support and backing of this fantastic club, and to Paul Chapman & Sons who now have a stadium name to be proud of.

“Finally, to everyone - stewards, volunteers, photographers, Barry & Karen Hudson, and Alan & Linda Jones for all the work they do behind the scenes and making me feel very welcome since the day I was first introduced to you all - special people, thank you.

“I look forward to seeing you all again next spring.”

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