Gary Havelock has announced his retirement from speedway at the age of 44
By Graeme Bailey - Tweet me: @graemebailey. Last Updated: 25/02/13 11:38am
Gary Havelock: Has hung up his kevlars
Former speedway World Champion Gary Havelock has announced his retirement from the sport due to injury.
The 44-year-old Teesside-born rider bring down the curtain on a glittering on a 28-year career.
The highlight of Havelock's time in the sport was without doubt his world title in 1992.
As well as riding throughout Europe, he rode for a number of teams in the top-flight in England including Bradford, Eastbourne, Poole, Peterborough and Arena Essex.
"My battle with the nerve injuries in my arm has just been one bad injury too far."
He began his career with his hometown team Middlesbrough and also finished it there - with the club now known as Redcar.
Havelock suffered serious nerve damage whilst racing for Redcar last year and he has been unable to overcome them.
"It is with mixed emotions that I announce my retirement from the sport of speedway racing with immediate effect," said Havelock in a statement.
"My battle with the nerve injuries in my arm has just been one bad injury too far. At the moment it is a daily struggle to try and restore full feeling back into my arm, so riding a bike would be impossible. This was never the way I wanted to retire, but fate, I guess, has a hand waiting for all of us.
"I feel very lucky to have been able to make a long and successful career out of something I loved doing most, riding my bike fast. It has been a privilege and an honour to represent my country at all levels and to represent some of the world's greatest clubs. I will be forever grateful to all the people who have helped me along the way, not least my family.
"There are lots of memories I want to share and people I would like to thank but now is not the time for that, while I just concentrate on trying to get fit and look forward to the next chapter of my life."