BRIAN CRUTCHER : Poole, Dorset.
POOLE PIRATE 1951 – 1953
A truly gifted, and naturally brilliant rider, who burst onto the speedway scene at the Matchams Park training track in December 1950. He was so good that a host of First Division clubs were soon trying to sign him, with Harringay the favourites to win the race for his signature, but after seeking advice Brian opted to join his hometown club.
After a handful of second half outings, he made his team debut at Poole on 24 April 1951, just four months after riding a speedway bike for the first time, and ended the match with a three ride, three win, maximum to his credit, while also recording a race time within 0.6 seconds of the existing Poole track record. Nicknamed the ‘Nipper’ by Norman Young, one of the club’s mechanics, Brian was soon on the road to super stardom and being tipped by many as a potential world beater.
During the next three months he established himself in the promotion seeking Poole side, breaking the track record on three separate occasions, while scoring no fewer than 17 maximums. This earned him international caps for the test matches against Sweden and the United States.
The 1952 season saw his continued rise to fame, and with it, the Poole team, who won the Second Division championship at the first attempt. Along the way Brian scored 541 points including 19 maximums at an average of 9.41. He also fought his way through several qualifying rounds to become the first Poole rider ever to reach a World Championship final. In doing so he had risen from raw novice to world class superstar in just 16 months.
But with the Control Board blocking Poole’s bid to gain promotion to Division One in 1953, the lure of the big time proved a little too much and Brian left for pastures new, joining the famous Wembley Lions for a reported £2,500 transfer fee, a Poole club record at the time.
Made 99 League and National Trophy appearances for the club and scored 869 points
Currently ranked the Club’s 40th highest individual points scorer.
Was inducted into the Poole Hall of Fame in 1994