Peterborough Panthers have a new promoter . . . and he’s 80 years-old

New Panthers promoter Colin Pratt.
New Panthers promoter Colin Pratt.
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Peterborough Panthers have appointed a new promoter - at the grand old age of 80!

Grand speedway servant Colin Pratt has been unveiled by the city club this morning (February 6) after leaving SGB Premiership rivals Swindon.

And Pratt, a world finalist as a rider and England boss during the 1980s in his days as a team manager, reckons Panthers are now back where they belong among the sport’s elite.

He said: “I’m really looking forward to being at Peterborough. I know there are some great people there.

“We have a strong-looking team and they could be as good as anyone in the league if the riders all get their acts together.

“Peterborough really is a top-level club for me and the track there has always been one of the most exciting in the country.

“It’s sad to be leaving Swindon as I’ve enjoyed my time there. Winning the league in 2017 was a bit of a repeat for me with Rosco (Robins team boss Alun Rossiter) having also done it together at Coventry in 2010.

“But Peterborough is a bit nearer to home which makes things easier with travel, and it does sometimes make more sense to be closer to the track you’re working at.”

The appointment of Pratt, who is based in Norfolk, comes as no surprise after the Peterborough Telegraph previously revealed Pratt attended a meeting with senior figures in the Peterborough Panthers Speedway Supporters’ Club (PPSSC) last month.

He is thought to be a replacement for Ged Rathbone and Neil Watson, who are understood to leaving Panthers.

Rathbone, who was Panthers chief from late 2014 onwards, has declined all requests for comment from the Peterborough Telegraph since the completion of his sale of the club to Keith Chapman last month - a transaction which was followed by the controversial axing of former British champion Chris Harris from the Panthers line-up.

Harris was then snapped up by Ipswich – another of the three top-flight clubs owned by British Speedway Promoters’ Association (BSPA) chief Chapman – with Witches asset Rohan Tungate being slotted into the Panthers side.

Chapman is overseas until later this month but his representatives are also making no comment on the futures of Rathbone and Watson.

The new season begins on April 1 for Panthers.