Tributes paid following death British Speedway racer Danny Ayres

Tributes have been paid to leading British Speedway rider Danny Ayres following the news of his unexpected death last week

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Tributes have flooded in for leading British Speedway rider Danny Ayres following his sudden death at the age of 33 last week.

The Suffolk rider had been competing as a professional Speedway rider since 2014, competing in the National and Premier leagues during his career. He had just signed with Ipswich Witches and renewed a contract with Scunthorpe Scorpions.

The cause of death hasn’t been confirmed but in an emotional tribute on social media his partner, Jodie Pledge, said he had ‘lost his battle to mental health’.

"It is with a broken heart I have to say that my soul mate, daddy to our two beautiful babies and your people's champion, has lost his battle to mental health.

“Danny absolutely lived for speedway. That was the only place he was truly free, free from any troubles and cares in his mind.

"He absolutely adored his fans. It was his utmost joy to be your ballsy entertainer and riding that dirt line on the edge, #whoDAyreswins.

"When he rode on that track, he gave everything he could to bring you excitement and give you, his fans, the full experience of the Showman of Speedway.

"He absolutely thrived on that energy you gave him and for that, he truly loved you all. I know he would want to be remembered this way."

Ayres previously competed with his local club Mildenhall Tigers and raced in the Speedway GB British Finals in July. The championship paid its own tribute.

“We are devastated to learn of the passing of British rider Danny Ayres,” read a statement. “Danny has always been an entertainer and his loss will be felt throughout the sport in Great Britain.

“He has been preparing for the forthcoming season with Premiership Ipswich and Scunthorpe in the Championship. Our thoughts are with Danny’s family at this most difficult of times.”