The former Comets and Glasgow Tigers speedway legend Steve Lawson will be taking over track preparation duties at Derwent Park for the 2018 season after long-serving track curator Anthony Denham informed the Comets management team that he would be stepping down from the role.
Anthony Denham and his team have maintained the track for the past ten seasons; the first five seasons when the club was under the ownership of Keith Denham and then a second block of five seasons when the club has been owned by current owner Laura Morgan.
However, with increasing work commitments and ten years of loyal service under his belt he has decided that now is the right time to step back from what is a big commitment and spend more time with his family.
Meanwhile, Lawson, of Maryport, made his speedway racing debut with the Comets in 1974 while still attending the town’s Moorclose School and remained at the club until the end of the 1977 season, by which time he had become one of the top riders in the league while also racing for Belle Vue in the league above. The following close-season saw him move north to Glasgow for 1978, where he raced until he retired from the sport at the end of 1992; becoming Glasgow’s, and the league’s, all-time highest point-scorer in the process.
The recent past saw Steve instrumental in setting his own son, former Comets’ skipper Richard, on the way to a successful speedway racing career while more recently he has been the mentor of new Workington signing; rising star Dan Bewley. Additionally, as well as maintaining his own private practice track, Steve has been involved in the Comets managerial set up as a technical advisor to the Comets team since 2014.
And, while Anthony Denham’s knowledge and experience will be a huge loss to the club, owner Laura Morgan feels that they have secured a safe pair of hands to take over.
“We’ve spoken to Steve Lawson and he is going to be doing the track for us prior to meetings, so there’s no worry at all and I’m really grateful to Steve for agreeing to step into the role.
“Steve’s help in the pits on race-night is invaluable, so he will be carrying on with that and we’re putting a team together as we speak to maintain the track during the meetings, with Steve on hand.
“Although we are very sorry to see Anthony go, there is no panic and Steve is obviously very knowledgeable and experienced so we’re very happy to have him on-board.”
Morgan was keen to stress that Anthony was leaving on good terms and that he was always welcome back at Derwent Park to watch the racing, and she said: “Anthony was very apologetic when he came to see us and inform us that he wasn’t able to do the job anymore as he feels that he wants, and needs, to spend more time with his family.
“We then decided to remain quiet about it until we had found a satisfactory solution, which we are now delighted that we have.
“It goes without saying that we appreciate everything that Anthony has done for Workington Speedway, before my time and during it; which was recognised at last seasons’ end of season awards night when he was the recipient of the ‘Ian Thomas Trophy’ for his services to Workington Speedway.
“He has offered his help and support for the first few meetings of the season to ensure a smooth handover to Steve, so everything is in place so that we can continue to serve up a high standard of racing at Derwent Park on a weekly basis; and we are all now looking forward to the new season, which gets underway at Derwent Park on Saturday 31st March with the Cumberland Open Championship.”