Newcastle Diamonds racer Lewis Kerr has pledged to return to speedway in 2016 despite suffering a horrific crash in August that left him fighting for his life in a coma for days.
After a good start to the season Kerr’s speedway career was thrown into jeopardy when he was involved in a crash with Workington rider Josh Grajczonek at the Premier League Fours event in Peterborough on August 2.
Kerr was flung from his motorbike into the fence at the Alwalton circuit and was air lifted to Addenbrooke’s hospital.
The 25-year-old remained in an induced coma for days before he began to show positive signs of recovery. Kerr managed to say the name of his unborn child to wife Jessie just four days after the incident when the Norfolk racer came out of the coma.
Kerr continued to grow from strength to strength and remarkably was able to make it to Brough Park last Sunday to cheer on the Diamonds in their final meeting of the season. He was introduced to fans on the back of teammate Steve Worrall’s bike, it was the first time Kerr had been on a speedway bike since the crash.
He said: “It was great to be back at Newcastle on Sunday, I love this club and the support that they have given me has been amazing.
“Watching the lads racing makes me realise how much I am looking forward to getting back on the bike, but the time has to be right.
“I have started cycling this week which is a bonus and my plan for next year is to be much fitter than I was at the start of this year and comeback stronger.”
The crash happened on the third lap of heat three in the final of the showpiece event which was subsequently abandoned, a moment that Kerr cannot remember.
Kerr said: “I have no recollection of the crash at all, I have no memory of the day before the crash or the week before it happened. I don’t recall hospital much either, it must have been hell for my family and Jessie but I’m glad in some respects I know nothing about it.”
He added: “For that reason it doesn’t play on my mind and although it sounds awful, I was out in front minding my own business when I was hit from behind. If it played on my mind then I wouldn’t come back.”
The speedway world quickly rallied in support of the stricken racer with £2,000 being raised within 24 hours of the crash. ‘Come on Lewi’ wristbands have also been sold at speedway tracks around the country and Kerr admits he has been overwhelmed by the support he has received.
“The support we have both received from everyone in speedway has been amazing, a lady near my home in Norfolk had set up a fund for me and the funds that have been raised at Newcastle and other clubs around the country has been brilliant,” he said.
“I don’t try to think about what happened because I just want to move on and focus on next year. I don’t have to visit hospital until February because they are so pleased with how I am doing. We have the baby due in December so that will keep me busy but other than that I just want to focus on getting fit and see what clubs I end up at next season.”