For my fifth birthday I was given a 50cc Italget motorbike. My dad had always been into pre-65 trials, owning a 250cc Francis Barnett. At this time I wasn't old enough to ride trials with him so my motorbike riding was restricted to the back garden.

I first started watching speedway on Sky television at the age of nine. I asked my dad if we could go up to Foxhall one Thursday night to see a live meeting. We enjoyed it so much that it became a regular weekly outing to support the Ipswich Witches. One Thursday we bumped into a friend of mine and he joined us to watch the meeting. We got talking and he told me that he had recently started cycle speedway for Ipswich (at Whitton Sports Centre). He invited me along for a try and I just happened to win all four of my races. My dad, seeing a bit of talent, made me a bike with the help of Rick Arbon (KNE Racing). I then went on to become Suffolk Champion and generally did very well in several national events over the next three years.

While this was all going on Dad bought me a Yamaha TY 80cc motorbike for my tenth birthday. This was so that I could join him when he was riding trials. After watching speedway and taking part in cycle speedway I fancied a go at a 125cc Peter Boost training day which I paid for out of my 10th birthday money. I really enjoyed the experience and mostly had a very good day apart from one nasty crash, hitting the tyres, going up the back straight, out of the second bend. As I lay on the track Peter Boost came over and said, "Welcome to speedway son!" No harm appeared to have been done so I got back on my bike and enjoyed the rest of the session.

I went back to trials for a couple of years as Jeremy Doncaster had advised us to wait until I was about 13 before I tried speedway again. Then Kevin Teager, an ex-speedway rider, who we rode trials with mentioned to Jeremy that I was interested in having another go at speedway. Jeremy happened to be at a trials event at Tunstall, soon afterwards, and stuck his head through the van saying, "I hear you boys want a go at speedway" He then offered to lend me a bike so I could have a go at a practise session without buying my own equipment. I soon ended up sliding a 500cc GM round all the corners of the track at Kings Lynn on a bike that was intended for somebody who was about 18" taller than me!

I went on to take part in some second half races at Kings Lynn and after one of these sessions a spectator turned to my dad and said "He reminds me of my son when he was that age - I will look for news of Joe's progress in the Speedway Star when I get back home". The name of this man was Mr Holder and the son he was talking about is called Chris, who seems to have done quite well since then! Throughout 2008 I did academy races at Rye House and Ipswich, which helped me gain valuable track time and race experience.

First full season spent in the National League racing for the Mildenhall Fen Tigers - finished the year on 4.10 average (started on 3.00).

Second season saw a return to Mildenahll where I had upped my average to over 7.00 when unfortunately the club closed. I then signed for Rye House for the rest of the season and finished on a 6.53 average. Highlight was coming second in the British U18s at Somerset.

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