Well-known television commentating duo delight sell-out crowd at Adrian Flux Arena
King’s Lynn Stars were the best speedway team of 2018 and they should be also gunning for glory this year – that was the message coming out of An Evening With Tatum and Pearson on Thursday.
The well-known television commentating duo returned to the Adrian Flux Arena for the second leg of their current tour and entertained a sell-out crowd who packed the Champs Bar despite a bitterly-cold night.
Kelvin Tatum MBE, the two-times British champion, warmed Saddlebow Road stadium fans’ hearts by saying: “King’s Lynn were the outstanding team of 2018 but injuries cost them the title.”
He added of the agonising championship-deciding Premiership Play-Off Grand Final aggregate defeat to Poole, which was shortly followed by a KO Cup final loss to Somerset last September: “Sport can be cruel sometimes but the Play-Offs are here to stay.
“TV has influenced that and it’s not the only sport to do so.”
A quick show of hands prompted by Nigel Pearson and his BT Sport summarising pal showed many supporters in the room had cancelled Sky Sports after they dropped coverage of speedway.
Tatum commented upon Sky pulling out three years into a five-year deal: “They wrote a cheque, said ‘sod off’ and it was unsavoury.”
Then the pair introduced Lynn’s third winter signing (as reported in Friday’s Lynn News), 2018 vice-captain Ty Proctor, as well as speaking to co-promoters Robin Brundle and Dale Allitt.
Tatum added: “It was important that Robert (Norfolk star Lambert, also back at Lynn for 2019) and riders of that calibre stay in Britain.”
A signed framed photo montage of Lambert and world champion Brit, Tai Woffinden, was auctioned off for £110, while there was much mirth that one of the raffle winners was stadium announcer Kevin Moore.
Pearson and Tatum regaled with tales of their travelling exploits.
These included passport errors while flying to Spain (Pearson) and also to Gothenburg (Tatum) en route to the Malilla Grand Prix; while miraculously dodging an 850-Euro fine for not paying a road toll in Slovenia, where Tatum somehow ‘photobombed’ a wedding party at their busy hotel while trying to park the car!
Tatum also recounted how early in his career while riding for Wimbledon, their guest Billy Sanders of Ipswich Witches fame almost caused a riot while accosting a taunting Lynn fan in the Saddlebow crowd; then later how he won a World Longtrack title after being carried on to his bike following a serious hip injury.
Now that Ipswich and Peterborough have returned to the top flight, the pair predicted a great season ahead, with many derby meetings coming up for Lynn.
Tatum said: “Rivalry is good. You’ve got a triangle of rivalry and it’s exciting and good for speedway in this area. Ipswich were a top flight force for decades.”