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The Matt Read Farewell Meeting
By Ian Belcher

With Matt's big day fast approaching, the final line up of riders is complete with the announcement that Craig Boyce and Chris Mills will riding in the meeting on September 22nd at Somerset's Oak Tree Arena track. 2006 saw Boyce return to one of his previous clubs, Poole, after spending 2 years in the Premier League with one of Matt's old clubs, the Isle of Wight. It was while with the Isle of Wight that Craig was asked to take on the role of Australian team manager. 3rd in the 1994 World Championship, 'Boycie' has also been a three times winner of the Australian Championship, as well as a World Team Cup Winner with Australia in 2001. A well renowned Oak Tree Arena track expert should mean that Boyce starts amongst the favourites for the top prize on offer to the winner of the Grand Final.

23 year old Mills will be well known to Somerset fans, having spent the latter half of the 2005 season riding for the Rebels, and was non riding reserve when the Rebels won the 2005 Premier League Fours Championship. Prior to joining Somerset Chris had spent time with, amongst others, Arena Essex, Reading and the Isle of Wight. Currently experiencing a very successful season with King's Lynn and recently earned a winners medal as the Stars lifted the 2006 Premier Trophy title.

Unfortunately due to his recent injury, Belle Vue's Joe Screen will no longer be able to take his place in the line up, his place being taken by Sheffield's Paul Cooper. "It's a real shame that this should happen." said an obviously disappointed Matt. "Joe had only spoken to me the day before to confirm that he was able to ride as his Polish team commitments had been completed, and this happens to him." "Obviously my first thoughts are with Joe and I hope he is soon back riding, but I am very grateful to Paul [Cooper] for stepping in at this late stage of things."

Somerset's Simon Walker and ex-Rebel Jason King, now with Mildenhall, have been confirmed as the meeting reserves.

Here is a taster of a few auction items for Readies Farewell;

* A chrome helmet signed by the last 10 years WORLD Champions, Speedway and Longtrack.
* All riders race jackets from the night.
* Replica of Matt's 2004 race jacket.
* Painting of Jason Crump.
* Signed framed photo of Scott Nicholls.
* 2 x VIP tickets to any British Superbike round in 2007.
* Scuba diving taster lesson.
* Antonio Lindback signed helmet.
Plus many more ....

The auction will take place straight after the meeting. Magnus Zetterstrom will play auctioneer .

Not forgetting the raffle with first prize being A MINI CHOPPER BIKE!!

Fans are also reminded that due to the action packed night's entertainment that has been arranged, the parade of riders will take place at 7.15pm with the racing commencing promptly at 7.30pm, so supporters coming along to the meeting are advised to arrive early to avoid the disappointment of missing any of the action.


This article was first published on 18th September 2006

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