Hammers legend Lanham ‘honoured’ to ride final laps at Arena-Essex Raceway

PUBLISHED: 13:00 20 September 2018

Leigh Lanham at his Testimonial Meeting in 2005 (pic Gavin Ellis)

Leigh Lanham at his Testimonial Meeting in 2005 (pic Gavin Ellis)


All-time leading Lakeside Hammers appearance and point scorer Leigh Lanham was honoured to ride the final four laps round Arena Essex Raceway last week.

Leigh Lanham of Lakeside Hammers (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)Leigh Lanham of Lakeside Hammers (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

The speedway club held their final-ever meeting at the track last Friday when they welcomed Glasgow Tigers for a Championship clash where they sealed a 50-40 victory with fans favourite Richard Lawson winning heat 15 to a huge applause.

After 34 years of racing it was all brought to an end with a final 15 heats of racing before the club legend did four laps of his own to say farewell to the track he called home for many years.

“It was nice, it was a good night and I’m honoured to be asked to do that,” Lanham said.

“It was good, a little bit of a drawn out night, but obviously the boys got the win but I was kind of just waiting around for it.

“I felt a bit nervous out there as I haven’t ridden for a couple of years but it was lovely to do it.”

The 41-year-old, who spent ten seasons at the Purfleet-based club from 1998 to 2008, says it’s sad to see the Raceway go but he hopes the future is bright for the club.

“It’s a sad affair really, but let’s hope the future holds good things for the club, and hopefully they can build their own stadium.

“Finish this year and maybe next year in Rye House and then see what happens.”

The Ipswich-based rider spent time at a number of clubs during his career including his hometown team Ipswich Witches but insists the Hammers were his home club.

“I’ve got some brilliant memories, this is my home club even though I don’t live here, it’s been my home club and I spent the majority of my career here.

“It’s been good to me and the club have been good back as well so I’m over the moon to spend as many years as I did here.”

He praised the riders that the Hammers had over the years including the likes of former Grand Prix stars Andreas Jonsson, Kryzstof Kasprzak, Mark Loram, Gary Havelock and Tony Rickardson during his time.

“Not really any that stand-out, I’ve raced with some fantastic riders over the years, I mean every year the team changes but we’ve always had some really good lads, whether it be Grand Prix riders or premier league riders, we’ve been graced with good teams here.”

Latest Romford Sports News

Yesterday, 18:00

Everyone Active Raiders forward JJ Pitchley was pleased to play his part in a come-from-behind win over Bracknell at Romford’s Sapphire Ice & Leisure Centre on Sunday.

Yesterday, 17:00

Two league games over the weekend, but only one point to show for it. A goal down against Kingstonian, we clawed our way back, and George Saunders scored his first ever goal for Hornchurch, when he spun around and fired the ball hard into the net with ten minutes to go.

Yesterday, 16:30

Romford’s Johnny Fisher produced another impressive first-round knockout on the latest Exeter University ABC show.

Yesterday, 16:00

Daggers have been knocked out in the first round in each of the last two seasons

Yesterday, 15:00

St Mary’s Lane club lost 24-14 at home to Ilford Wanderers last weekend

Yesterday, 14:00

Herons lost 26-7 at Woodford last weekend

Yesterday, 13:00

Hall Lane club were awarded a walkover success against Mersea Island last weekend

Yesterday, 12:00

Everyone Active Raiders captain Aaron Connolly called their weekend wins over the National League’s top two teams ‘huge’ for team confidence.


From November, The Mercury in Romford begins to celebrate Christmas. The mall has plenty of gift ideas, fun events and activities for everyone

Vauxhall has completed its sport utility vehicle range with the third, and largest, Grandland X. We put the SUV, now available at Tony LeVoi in Romford, to the test.

“The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining,” so the saying goes. So if some warm weather is making your conservatory uninhabitable, think about replacing its roof with a flat one and adding a roof lantern instead.

Newsletter Sign Up

Romford Recorder twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read sport

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists

Education Promo

News from your area

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now