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Friday, 31 October 2014

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Speedway world shocked by death of GB star Lee Richardson

The world of speedway has been shocked by the death of former Great Britain international Lee Richardson.

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Lee Richardson: Killed in Polish crash

Richardson, 33, who was captain of Elite League side Lakeside Hammers, died in a racing accident while riding for his Polish side Rzeszow last night when he hit the safety fence and suffered a heavy blow to the chest before later dying in hospital.

Richardson never rode at Derwent Park against the Comets as he joined the Elite League before the Comets reformed in 1999 but his father Colin, who rode for Eastbourne, Wimbledon and King’s Lynn, broke the track record when riding for Eastbourne at Workington in 1977.

Comets team manager Tony Jackson said: “It is a bad day for the sport. It just highlights the risks these guys take every time they go out on the track. It does happen but thankfully it is very rare.

“It hits everybody in speedway right across the board and for a lot of people at the moment the last thing they want to think about is speedway. It is a very unfortunate night for the sport.”

Richardson rode for Poole, Coventry, Reading, Peterborough, King’s Lynn, Swindon and Eastbourne as well as 38 Grand Prixs and 10 Speedway World Cups in what was a distinguished career.

A statement from Lakeside said: “All the club are devastated by the loss of a great captain, man and more than anything else a father and a husband.”

The British Speedway Promoters Association said they were deeply shocked and saddened by the death and that their thoughts were with Richardson’s family and friends.

Lakeside’s match with Coventry, which was due to be televised by Sky Sports tonight, has been postponed.

Meanwhile Comets owner Keith Denham was impressed with how his team responded to last week’s close call with Sheffield by comprehensively beating Edinburgh Monarchs on Saturday.

Denham was less than impressed with the performance against the Yorkshire side, when they only secured the maximum three points on offer in the last heat, but there were no such problems against Edinburgh as the Comets ran out comfortable 58-34 winners.

It was Workington’s first league match and with their next one not until June 7 it was important they got their first points on the board.

Denham said: “It was a good performance and what I expected.

“All the riders were looking good tonight and if they ride like that at home we will take some beating.

“We have got to go like that every week and if we ride like that we won’t lose too often.”

There were many positive signs from the Comets riders with Adam Roynon picking up a paid maximum and Kenny Ingalls looked very impressive only missing out on a paid maximum in his last ride.

Richard Lawson won three races and Gary Irving had arguably his best meeting of the season taking his first victory of the season and scoring a paid nine points while Kyle Howarth got better as the meeting went on finishing with a win and six points.

Denham said: “Kenny was back on the gas tonight because he had lost it a bit last week while Kyle is getting his confidence back and his win in heat 14 will have put him right.

“Once he gets his starts sorted he will be all right.

“I had a chat with Gary before the match to get him going and he got it tonight and I was glad to see that he responded well.”

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