King’s Lynn Stars chief Buster: I felt like quitting

British Championship speedway semi final 
Buster Chapman
British Championship speedway semi final Buster Chapman
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King’s Lynn Stars speedway supremo Keith Chapman said the recent turmoil around the club caused him to feel like quitting.

Lynn parted company with two of their top stars Chris Holder and Troy Batchelor, following the fallout over the recent Poole home meeting when riders complained about the state of the track.

This prompted ‘Buster’ Chapman to make team changes with him pinning his hopes on a new-look line-up to seal an end of season SGB Premiership play-off spot.

The Lynn chief is now saying the troubles are behind him and that he is enjoying the sport again.

Chapman brought in three new faces last week: Swede Tomas H Jonasson, as well as doubling-up rider Michael Palm Toft and Josh Auty at reserve.

Chapman said the commitment of the new faces did the trick in the defeat to Swindon: “With the three riders we got, I really enjoyed my speedway, that’s what I want.

“I was on the verge of quitting, I’ve got to tell you, and I needed to enjoy it and I needed to enjoy the rest of the season, so it’s important for me and important for the club and riders, and everyone involved.”

He added: “I can’t tell you how happy I am. It was good speedway.

“The public – I really did think the crowd would be decimated by losing two top riders (Holder and Batchelor), but I tell you what: the crowd was very pleasing.

“They enjoyed it and were all up for it, which I was really, really pleased about.”

A depleted Lynn side lost at Leicester on Saturday (see page 47), with five riders missing because they were doubling-up and due to other factors like injury and unavailability.

Chapman said: “With the lateness of signing the riders, I had no choice.

“At the end of the day we knew what we had to do and the changes were going to be an uphill struggle.”

He stated in the club programme about that Poole clash: “Quite simply, I won’t accept the tail wagging the dog.

“I won’t accept ‘superstars’ refusing to put on a black and white helmet cover for a tactical and I won’t accept ‘superstars’ walking out of a meeting at my club – especially when the opposition are raring to go.”

Australians Holder and Batchelor, the duo axed, have had their say on social and other media, with Batchelor questioning the total commitment of Chapman to Lynn given the demands of his job as chairman of the British Speedway Promoters’ Association.

Tomorrow Lynn travel to Rye House Rockets, who as of last night lay four points below the Stars.

The Saddlebow outfit last night entertained Somerset Rebels, who have crept up to three points behind Lynn who as a result needed to win that BT Sport-televised clash.