Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Keay: I Simply Can't Carry on at Bears

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Keay: I Simply Can't Carry on at Bears

Article excerpt

Byline: KEITH MCGHIE

KEVIN Keay is to step down as promoter at Redcar Bears.

The retired police motorcycle outrider took charge at the South Tees Motorsports Park speedway circuit two years ago but, before flying to Poland for the final Grand Prix of the season this weekend, he announced he'd had enough.

The decision is likely to be greeted with disappointment by many fans who, despite mixed results on the track, felt he had achieved his initial goal bring the 'feelgood factor' back to the Bears as well as ensuring the club's 271-metre banked oval was voted 'track of the year' at the end of 2017.

Keay explained: "When I was asked to take on the role, I had no experience of running such a business.

"It was basically a 'you run it or we close' situation, so I said I'd give it my best although the club wasn't in a great position.

"The first year was a massive challenge as everything was completely new.

"I had to rebuild bridges with fans and sponsors after the disastrous previous year and, with help from Ben (Jitendra) Duffill, hard work helped make it a remarkably successful 2017 but I still didn't really enjoy it.

"I was putting in 70-plus hours a week doing everything from cleaning the fence to sourcing sponsorship and running every aspect of the club.

"I didn't want to continue into 2018 but was talked around and so rolled the sleeves up and got on with it.

"The infrastructure of the club means that, other than on race day, there is basically just me and Brian Gladders (one of the club's three directors) at the track doing 90% of the workload and Brian is 76!

"Last winter we were at the track in rain and snow to improve the facilities for 2018 and it takes its toll.

"It's been even harder this year and I simply can't carry on.

"I don't receive a wage or even claim expenses and it's put enormous stress on myself and my family and I want my life back. …

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