Paul Freeston realised his dream on Saturday when he acted as start marshall at the British Speedway GP.
Keeping his cool in front of a crowd of more than 50,000 motorsport fanatics at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium, the Sibsey resident played down his role in keeping the sport’s biggest stars in check.
“It went ok,” he said. “Nothing went wrong, so I’m happy with that.”
Denmark and Lynn Stars’ Niels-Kristian Iversen won the event. But for Paul, getting the nod to take his place on the shale was just as exciting.
“Anyone who plays sport dreams of competing at the highest level, and it’s the same for anyone else involved in sport in other ways.
“This is the biggest speedway event in the world, and to be involved – from my days at Boston to this day in Cardiff – is a very big reward for me.
“It was a fantastic feeling to be involved.”
Paul’s love affair with speedway began as a young Boston Barracudas fan in 1979, offering his services as a flag marshall when the club reformed in the 1990s.
After the exiled team folded for a second time, Paul linked up with the Lynn Stars.
His years of dedication saw him selected for this year’s British GP, the biggest date in the speedway calendar.
“The crowd were away from the track and the noise went upwards, but when the British riders were on the atmosphere was electric,” Paul reflected.
“The air horns were going and it sounded like a swarm of bees.”
When Paul returned home to re-live the action once again he discovered that his machine had failed to record the televised action.
But he was left with one special reminder of the occasion, courtesy of the sport’s Danish bad boy Nicki Pedersen.
“I had to try to keep him in line and stop him getting an advantage over the other riders, but he rode over my foot with his bike,” Paul added.
“I’ve got a souvenir mark of that moment on my boot.”
Paul will also add the cap and lanyard he wore at the event to his ever-growing collection, which also includes reminders of the World Cup event he officiated at the Adrian Flux Arena earlier this year.
After managing to catch up with some of the action on TV, Paul laughed off the failed recording and vowed to treat himself to the official DVD when it goes on sale.