IF YOU could bottle Darcy Ward's spirit, you would probably rake in more than most Speedway Grand Prix stars put together.

For 24-year-old Ward to have lost as much as he did in one moment a little under a year ago and still be using words like "lucky" and "privileged" is astounding.

Ward had that rare trait of being mercurial and talismanic. He defied his years with the kind of cockiness you cannot help admire. He was the shale sport's Paul Gascoigne, if you like.

Moments of madness would seamlessly slip back into the realms of genius. Whatever the antics, punters simply could not resist loving him.

To have that magic at your disposal is a joy, responsibility, even burden many of us will never be able to comprehend. To then have it ripped away in a heartbeat is enough to warp the sturdiest of minds.

After the accident that paralysed Ward in Zielona Gora, Poland, came the initial trauma and stark reality. But what about what was to follow? The equally punishing sight and added pressure of seeing your world weep for you.

To still come through, to smile and to crack on with life after the dust had settled. Could you do it?

The answer is simple for Ward. He has to.

"It is not easy but what can you do? You have to deal with it," he said.

"I have moved back to Australia now. I have a beautiful house, a beautiful girlfriend and a beautiful puppy. I am around a lot of my mates, the boys I grew up with from school, and my family. I do miss my friends here in the UK but I still have chances to catch up with them.

"One of my friends has moved in with us and helps out. For what it is, I feel like I am very privileged and lucky.

"You have to be positive. I have met a lot of people in my situation and I am very lucky to have the support I have and that everybody knows who I am.

"It is not just my situation, everybody around me lives in what I live in too. You have to consider them and make the best of every day."

The message is clear. Just like his attitude on the track, he cannot let down his fans by giving in and after more painstaking rehabilitation on the Gold Coast, he is all set to start motoring again.

A successful trial run in an adapted car has given Ward a taste for the open road and added motivation to nail down getting himself from his wheelchair into the Holy Grail of the driver's seat.

"I can get in with a little bit of assistance and have already driven, it is just the independent transfer that is the hard part," he added.

"I have only tried properly three times, I just have to find and learn the right techniques to make it easier and getting my muscles that bit stronger. I have only driven once to test it out with all of my physios in the car.

"It was a test to see where I was at and it turned out well, I felt comfortable and ready. Liz (Ward's girlfriend) can get me into the car at one end and the physios can get me out at the other but doing it myself is the goal for when I get back.

"I always had driving in my mind and it has been my goal for the past three months. Once I got to Making Strides (Ward's clinic in Australia) and became good friends with a guy called Jack and he told me he would have me driving within six months.

"Now, I hope to be doing that in September so we have hit our goals early."

Fans flocked to support Ward financially and while that proved crucial in giving him the best possible lifestyle, the continued support from across the globe has been his biggest ally.

Much of that has emanated from Wimborne Road and he will be in Champs Bar immediately after tonight's meeting with Wolverhampton (7.30) to showcase his progress and share time with fans.

"I am not looking to dwell on things, I am going back to Poole to see them race and enjoy being somewhere that will always mean a lot to me," said Ward.

"I am happy to be going back and will just be there to watch the boys, cheer them on and enjoy the night. It is about seeing everybody and I can't wait."

You won't be the only one, Darcy.