Ryan refuses to rule out Panthers return

Ryan Sullivan. Photo: Peterborough ET
Ryan Sullivan. Photo: Peterborough ET
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CLUB legend Ryan Sullivan has refused to rule out one day returning to Panthers.

The all-time Peterborough great was back at the East of England Showground on Monday to line up in the club’s season-opening challenge clash.

The 37 year-old led Sullivan’s Seven - a select side also featuring reigning world champion Greg Hancock and maximum man Nicki Pedersen - into battle as they went down to a 55-38 defeat to the current crop of Panthers.

It is likely to be Sullivan’s sole appearance on British soil this year but Panthers boss Trevor Swales has admitted he would love to see the club’s ‘prodigal son’ return for one more season in Peterborough colours before he calls time on his career.

And when asked whether that was a possibility, Sullivan said: “You never say never in speedway.

“But I must admit I’m enjoying my life at the moment. I have spent a lot of years in speedway doing a lot of travelling so it is nice not to have too many meetings anymore.

“I’m riding in Poland and Russia and that’s pretty relaxing compared to some of the schedules I’ve had in the past.”

Sullivan played his part in Elite League title successes in 1999 and 2006 during a Panthers career spanning 11 years.

He had a familiar face from the second of those triumphs in his team on Monday in the shape of Richard Hall and the pair could have been forgiven reminiscing about the dramatic final moments of their Grand Final triumph over Reading.

Sullivan and Hall teamed up for a crucial 5-1 in the penultimate heat of that epic Grand Final second leg recovery against Reading.

Hall had also grabbed a vital third place in the previous race while Sullivan quickly returned to the track to lead home Hans Andersen for a title-winning 5-1 over Hancock in an unforgettable finale.

Sullivan added: “I’ve had many great times and ridden in some really good teams at Peterborough but 2006 was incredible.

“We all thought the title had gone but we pulled off one of the greatest comebacks of all-time.

“Richard was a big part of that success and had two really important rides at the end of the final and it was good to catch up with him again.”

Current Panthers man Jesper B. Monberg was also a major part of the 2006 triumph.