SAM Norris, who has ridden for Reading Racers in recent weeks, remains in hospital following his horrific crash at the British Youth Championships in Glasgow last week.

The 15-year-old was initially placed on a life-support machine with a serious brain injury.

However, there have been signs of an improvement in his condition and his family are hoping this will lead to him being flown to Addenbrookes hospital in Cambridge, which is closer to his home.

A statement from his family said: "We have had a meeting with Sam's neurosurgeon and have been informed of the harsh reality that his recovery will be a long one."

More than £8,000 has been raised by speedway fans via a JustGiving fundraising page to help his family meet travelling and hotel costs for his family.

Supporters will have the opportunity to boost the fund when Racers take on Exeter Falcons in a Development League match at Swindon's Abbey Stadium tonight (Thursday).

Since beating Milton Keynes two weeks ago, Racers have made changes to their squad, but the management now have three riders unavailable for this match.

So there is a debut for 15-year-old Eli Meadows, who will also be signing for Championship side Somerset Rebels when he reaches 16.

Exeter have named an experienced quartet, led by Plymouth reserve Adam Sheppard.

Probable teams – Reading: 1. Nick Laurence (c), 2. Eli Meadows, 3. William O'Keefe, 4. Rhys Laker.

Exeter: 1. Adam Sheppard, 2. Max Pankhurst, 3. James Chattin, 4. Saul Bulley.