Mildenhall Fen Tigers rider Luke Muff keen to make most of second chance
Luke Muff hopes he can draw inspiration from late Mildenhall Fen Tigers fans’ favourite Danny Ayres by continuing his progression on the track after being handed a second chance to shine for the club this season.
After being dropped by the West Row-based outfit before last season’s transfer deadline, the 34-year-old is now more eager than ever to showcase his talents on the track for the reigning National Development League (NDL) champions.
Already a popular figure with fans from his previous stint with the club with his heart on the sleeve attitude, Muff is now keen to develop that relationship by scoring big points on the track.
He said: “To be honest I was gutted when I was dropped last year but it is a team sport and I understand that.
“The first meeting I had at Leicester didn’t go well. It was just a bad start then I got going and was scoring four or five points per meeting and then I was dropped.
“When Malcolm (Vasey, joint team manager) rang me asking if I wanted to step in and guest for the Belle Vue meeting I was buzzing as it was an iconic venue. Ever since then I have believed in myself.
“I’ve got a second chance now and I want to take it with both hands and see where it goes.
“Danny was a legend. When I first got into speedway Sean Wilson took me under his wing and introduced me to him. I only knew Danny for about a year and a half and he was a wicked bloke.
“When he was at Scunthorpe I’d be in the pits and he would give me spare bits and bobs.
“Me and Jordan Palin were the last people to ride with him at Scunthorpe and I only spoke to him two or three days before he died which was a real massive kick in the teeth.
“The sport needs people like Danny. I like to celebrate doing things well and what’s wrong with jumping off your bike and giving your team-mate a big hug after a 5-1? It boosts morale in the team as it is a team sport at the end of the day.”
Had it not been for a bet with his late grandad Stewart Muff then the Halifax-based rider, who admits he was not a fan of speedway when he was younger, may not have even pursued a career in the sport.
He said: “I had a £10 bet with my grandad at a family meal who said I wouldn’t get on a speedway bike.
“I got dragged along to speedway as a youngster and I hated it. I just liked the hot dogs and playing in the stands. I hated the smell and the noise but over time you change and grow up.
“I went to one of the Wayne Carter training days on the mini track and within about 30 minutes I wanted to go on the 500cc bikes.
“He bet me a tenner and I raised it to £100 but I only took a tenner off him. He died four of five months ago and he would have been over the moon with how I’m doing now.”
Although Muff has put in plenty of hard work over the winter months in order to prepare himself for this year’s demands, he has thanked both a current and former Fen Tiger for their help.
He said: “I’ve lost a bit of timber while I’m always running around after my little boy Louis.
“Mentally I have a different attitude to last season and I’m just trying to get as much time as I can on the bike but that’s not always easy.
“To be honest Jason Edwards has been a superstar. He has helped me a lot with advice and suggested me to try this and that while Adam Roynon up at Redcar is wicked out the starts and he has helped me try to master them.”
This campaign will see Muff start off in one of the two reserve berths, although he hopes that as the season goes no it will be a case of onwards and upwards.
“I hope I can get into the main body of the team. I’m definitely thinking positively about that but it is a team sport and there will be ups and downs,” said Muff.
“There will be changes through the team order as the season goes on but fingers crossed I can move into the main body at some point.”