The King’s Lynn Stars team boss ALEX BRADY, who replaced Peter Schroeck at the helm in July, answers Gavin Caney’s questions
So Alex, speedway. When did it all start?
I first came to Lynn when I was four or five years old and, like so many others, I was hooked.
I remember my Uncle Bob buying me a picture of Mark Loram from the club shop and getting him to sign it that night. It’s still in my loft somewhere!
We’ve always been Lynn fans but occasionally we’d pop to Ipswich as well just to see Tomasz Gollob but it never compared to Saddlebow Road for me.
It’s been a massive part of my life and even in the very brief periods we didn’t go (personal reasons) I always kept my eye on the scores and that love never leaves you.
I came back in 2017 and have barely missed a meeting since.
Had you always harboured ambitions to become a team boss or is that a more recent development?
To be completely honest, I’d never even considered it in my wildest dreams until the night of the Ipswich meeting this season so it’s definitely more of a recent thing.
I suppose it was natural, given my day to day life is managing people and situations, but I wouldn’t say it was something I ever expected to do.
I felt I could offer something different to what was happening and that my skills would be transferable. When the opportunity became available, I was on it straight away.
Since your company Minors & Brady become the Stars’ sponsor in March 2020, have you found you’ve naturally become more involved behind the scenes?
For sure. I’d been quite involved with a couple of individual riders previously through sponsorship, mainly Ty Proctor. Nipping into the pits quickly after a meeting was as far as it had gone.
I actually dealt with Buster (owner Keith Chapman) in a professional capacity and a normal 45-minute meeting took four hours as I was just asking so many questions about the sport and Lynn and that really gave me the taste for it. It was natural for it to develop further.
After Peter Schroeck was moved on, tell us how it came about for you to take over?
It was a bit out of the blue to be honest. I’d been down in the pits after the meeting against Ipswich on TV and you could see things were not right.
I spoke to Dale (Allitt) and Buster and they were hurting and I offered my opinion.
The next day, I was doing my monthly staff one-to-ones with my business partner Jamie and I missed a call from Buster. I was about to call him back and Dale was ringing so I answered. They were sitting together in a meeting and effectively offered the position to me on the phone.
I went away and spoke to my dad, my uncle and my wife to gather their views before I accepted. They were all really supportive but I would have said yes regardless!
Were you prepared for any of the backlash that you received about a sponsor becoming team boss? And how did it make you feel?
Of course I knew that I’d get some backlash but actually I was pleasantly surprised with some of the positive feedback.
Those that know me will know that I have a particularly thick skin. I welcome constructive criticism but I don’t pay any attention to negativity for negativity’s sake.
So all those comments where people were having a pop or a moan, I use them as fuel to fire me on – I actually learned that one from Tai Woffinden, who I’ve got to know from travelling to the GPs. You’ll never, ever make every single person happy all the time so take the positives and move forward.
That victory in your first meeting against Belle Vue must have been special. What’s it like looking back?
It was incredible. It feels like a lifetime ago now but it really was one of the best nights of my life. I had about 50 friends and family watching, including my wife Chelsea, daughter Autumn and son Enzo (it was his first speedway meeting).
My resting heart rate is usually about 48bpm and going into that heat 15 it was 152! That gives you an idea as to what I was feeling. Walking back through the fans after that heat 15, I felt like I was in a film. It’s as good a feeling as I’ve ever experienced – and I’ve had some good ones!
Despite running teams close and improving, a string of losses has followed. Is the aim simply to try to not finish bottom? Or is it more about building for next year?
I think it’s a combination of both. While wanting to be positive, realism is also important and we’ve left ourselves a lot to do if we’re not to finish bottom, but why not?
We’ll give it everything for this season and see where it takes us. But this year’s mission is really about restoring some pride and a bit of a feel-good factor around the Adrian Flux Arena. I think so far we’ve managed to do that.
The boys know they’re racing for team spots for 2022 and I’m really confident we’ll build a side and an atmosphere capable of challenging and bringing the good times back to Lynn.
Finally, how do you find the time to be a speedway team boss and run an estate agents with four branches?
It can be quite challenging. We actually open our fifth branch on Tuesday in Unthank Road in Norwich so there’s another one in the mix! But in truth, I’m really lucky to have some great people to help me on both sides.
My business partner Jamie is really supportive as he knows speedway is my passion, and then at the club, Dale, Buster and people like Milly (Chris Milsom) do a heck of a lot to reduce the pressure on me, which in turn allows me to juggle things pretty well.
I guess the hardest part to juggle time wise is actually a bit of family time with Chelsea, Autumn and Enzo. Again, I’m lucky they’re so supportive and allow me to chase my dreams.
The facts are…
Name: Alex Brady
Date of birth: April 30, 1991
Birth place: Norwich
Grew up in: North Walsham
King’s Lynn Stars
Position: King’s Lynn Stars team boss
Favourite rider (all time): Tomas Topinka/Jason Crump
Favourite rider (current):
Sporting hero: Tai Woffinden/Andrew Flintoff
• Alex runs 10km per day, every day, before work in about 37 minutes and 30 seconds. That speedy time would have been enough to have seen him finish 22nd out of 1,500 runners at Sunday’s GEAR in King’s Lynn.
• The King’s Lynn Stars team boss owns Minors & Brady Estate Agents – a multi-award winning estate agency that has branches in Norwich, Caister-on-Sea, Wroxham and Dereham.
• He’s currently building a speedway track in his back garden.
• A very little known fact about Brady, and even less believed, is that he prays every day.
• He was expelled from college two years running so is a good example of bouncing back from adversity.
Restaurant or takeaway?
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Least favourite food: Tuna
Favourite TV programme: 24 Hours in Police Custody
Least favourite TV programme: Love Island
Favourite band/musician: Drake
Least favourite band/musician: Ed Sheeran
Favourite film: Scarface
Least favourite film: I’ll watch anything really
Answers in italics