Most speedway fans around the globe will be aware of the terrible injuries Leigh Adams sustained while practising for the Finke desert race in South Australia earlier this year.
Last weekend I was lucky enough to meet Leigh in the pits at Gillman speedway in Adelaide after the benefit meeting organised by Gillman boss Dave Parker.
I have to say that Leigh has always been my favourite Australian rider to watch after comparisons have been made between himself and dad (Ken McKinlay) as to riding styles and preparation by various people over the years.
It would be impossible for anyone to imagine what Leigh must be going through unless you have been through it yourself, say someone like Erik Gundersen, another true champion and inspiration to many.
All I can say is that it was a privilege to meet Leigh and see his positive and friendly attitude towards everyone.
Leigh will be going to the United States in the new year for further treatment and I would urge everyone that has been lucky enough to ever watch Leigh compete or come into contact with him to get behind Leigh and his family and support him.
This article was first published on 1st December 2011
"Here here, well said Adrian. Best wishes to Leigh."
"Like Adrian, I have always been in awe of the professionalism and easy style of Leigh Adams. Over many years ha came across as Mr Nice Guy and I fully believe that he was just that. He was so in control on the track that he made the sport look safe. He had everything that a multi world champ ion needs except the nasty / do or die streak. If he had been more ruthless, he would probably have at least one world title to his name. How ironic that such a safe, professional rider should suffer such horrific injuries. Unfortunately, life is not guaranteed to be fair. On the plus side, one thing that Leigh demonstrated over his long career was determination - he would never lay down to a challenge and had an abundance of self belief. That trait is likely to be much to his advantage with the challenge he now faces. I sincerely hope that he will regain enough mobility to enjoy his family life without hinderance. On the subject of Ken McKinlay, I only really saw him in the later sixties and, then as an away rider to be respected. I do recall that, like Leigh, he had perfected all of the skills necessary to be a top line professional. He and his machine were always immaculately turned out, he was a consistently good gater, fast and knew how to defend when in front and mount an attack. Again, like Leigh, he did not attempt rash manoeuvres which were likely to cause un-necessary risk to himself and others. Also a true gentleman, by reputation."
" I'd just like to wish Leigh and his family all the best for 2012. A great speedway rider, and a real nice bloke."
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