Thursday July 05, 2018
BIRMINGHAM have been rocked by the news that reserve Layne Cupitt is taking a break from the sport.

The 20-year-old has been struggling with confidence, despite some positive glimpses, but says his decision has been made using a sensible head with more issues off the track than on them.

Cupitt has issued an apology to club supporters and bosses and was keen to explain the reasons behind him standing down from his current role.

“It’s such a hard decision and I feel quite bad for making it in a way,” Cupitt said.

“I don’t mean to leave Birmingham in any sort of bad position where they’re struggling to get someone else in but I have to do this.

“I know everyone has bad times in speedway but I’m normally able to get out of it pretty quick – but this has stuck with me.

“I was feeling like I didn’t want to go to some of the meetings or when I was at them I didn’t necessarily want to be there sometimes and that’s not good in speedway because you’re racing a bike without brakes and you need to be focussed.

“Because I wasn’t focussed though and because I wasn’t concentrating how I should be, that’s what’s probably led to so many of my falls and crashes in the past few months.

“And when I crashed at the Isle of Wight last Thursday, that was the final straw for me because I banged my hip pretty hard as well and I just told myself you need to do something about this.

“I had the Friday to think long and hard about it and I wanted to try and ride at Eastbourne or Cradley, but my hip wasn’t good and like I say I just didn’t feel right.

“I do love riding speedway and I don’t want people thinking I don’t care because I do and when I fall off and crash and cost the team points, I’m so embarrassed and so frustrated because I don’t like letting people down.

“Sometimes though I think there are some Speedway fans who forget that we’re normal people and especially riders like us in the National League, we’re giving it everything we’ve got to try and make something of ourselves.

“But it’s not all as glamorous as some people may think and we’re just human beings at the end of the day who have a life away from the track too.

“Sometimes things get tough and they’re not good behind the scenes and I’ve been going through a lot that people won’t know about.

“My brother, who I’ve always been so close to, he’s moved away to Canada, my dad has been ill and there’s other things that I don’t want to go into much detail about to be honest but it’s all built up into one and I’ve been in a tough place.

“I’ve been keeping it all in and keeping it to myself but in that last meeting at the Isle of Wight I found myself getting angry, and that’s not me.

“I know there have been some comments here and there but overall the Birmingham fans have been amazing.

“This year we’ve been going over to the fans after every meeting and a lot of times I’ve found myself saying sorry for my performance.

“But they’re so understanding, encouraging and supportive and I honestly think that’s got me as far into the season as I have got.

“Without them, I think I’d have made this decision sooner, but I can’t thank them enough and again I’m sorry but I need to do this now.

“I need to spend some time hopefully getting myself in a better place and hoping that things improve behind the scenes.

“If I do end up missing it and I’m in a better place generally then maybe I will give it one more try who knows.”

Meanwhile, Edwards Plumbing Brummies team boss Laurence Rogers added: “Layne has been struggling for a while now but we stuck by him and supported him as much as we possibly could.

“We were hoping he’d be able to get through it, but we appreciate how difficult things must be for him right now and we totally respect his decision.

“Yes it leaves us with a lot of work to do behind the scenes because there are very few three-point unattached riders who are capable of producing what we know Layne could when his mind was fully on it.

“But that’s something for me and David (Mason, co-promoter) to sort and in the meantime we send Layne and his family our best wishes and we’d love to see him back on a bike at some point in the future.”

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