7:00am Friday 22nd February 2013
By Ian Wadley
SPEEDWAY wild man Michael Lee last night issued a plea to Pirates sensation Darcy Ward: Don’t wreck your career.
Controversial character Lee was speaking after The Queensland Times reported that Ward had been convicted of fleeing police on a motorbike while under the influence of drink and drugs in his native Australia.
Wimborne Road star Ward, 20, admitted a string of offences when he appeared in court and was fined $5,500, according to reports.
Lee, who was banned from speedway in 1984 after allegedly riding the wrong way round a racetrack, stormed to world title glory in 1980.
But former Pirates ace Lee was also infamous for his off-track misdemeanours and he served a jail term for drugs offences.
Some fans have drawn comparisons between the two riders and Lee fears Ward will risk his shale sport future if he fails to focus on racing.
In an exclusive interview with the Daily Echo, Lee said: “I think if it is in someone’s make-up to be as good as they are at something, they are also pretty extreme people.
“Undoubtedly, Darcy is a brilliant speedway rider. He needs to stop and grow up. We all love fun and I loved fun when I was younger but I can look back now.
“Darcy will just snigger at me looking back, probably, because he is still young. I had people telling me similar things. Did I listen? No, because I was an individual and was always going to do what I wanted to.
“At the time, I was stubborn and I wanted to prove my point. But when I look back now and if I had actually thought about what would have been the best thing to do, it would have been to put my head down, keep quiet and get on with the job.
“He is a professional sportsman and he is earning good money – don’t throw that away. That is all I will say. Darcy, do not throw that away.”
Ward, who was snapped up by Pirates in 2009 for a club record transfer fee, has been signed to ride for Poole again this year and will make his debut as a full-time Grand Prix rider in the 2013 series.
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