Published: 22:44, 01 February 2020
| Updated: 22:57, 01 February 2020
The world of speedway is in shock after star Danny Ayres was found dead at the age of 33.
Ayres began his career riding in Sittingbourne with Kent Kings aged 27, quickly establishing himself as a fans' favourite.
The star, born in Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk, was known as one of the sport's great entertainers.
Ayres broke into the Championship with Glasgow in 2016 and also rode for Leicester, Redcar, Cradley and Ipswich during his career.
A message posted on his official Facebook page tonight said: "We have some awful news to bring you.
"There’s is no easy way to report this. Danny has passed away.
"His passing is tragic, extremely sad and very untimely.
"To say we are shocked and devastated is an understatement. Our thoughts and condolences are with Danny’s family."
The Kent Kings Live Twitter account posted a series of tributes tonight.
One read: "Outstanding rider, and won fans all over the country over with his style and never give up racing! Our sport is going to be so much poorer without him and he will go down as a true legend who will be talked about for years and years."
Official British Speedway also posted a tribute on social media.
It read: "We are devastated to learn of the passing of British rider Danny Ayres.
"Danny has always been an entertainer and his loss will be felt throughout the sport in Great Britain.
"Our thoughts are with Danny’s family at this awfully difficult and tragic time."
The news stunned fans, who posted hundreds of tributes.
Fran Brown wrote: "This is such sad news. I've known Danny since he was a little boy. Our thoughts are with his parents and Kelly and the rest of his family."
Nicola Duff added: "Absolutely shocked! what a great guy and such a nice friendly lovable man. One of speedway's great entertainers. He will be sorely missed. Condolences to his family."
More as we get it.
More by this authorIan Johns