CHRISTER LOFQVIST : Visby, Sweden.
POOLE PIRATE 1972 – 1973
A former Swedish junior champion and a proven star in British League racing, Christer joined the Pirates in 1972 following the closure of the West Ham club. He made an instant impression with the Poole fans, who delighted in his in exciting riding style, and quickly became a high scoring member of the side, ending his debut season at the top of the club’s scorers with an 8.96 average.
His individual skills saw him qualify for a place in the 1972 World Final, the first Poole rider to appear at a World final for 20 years, The final was held at Wembley where he scored 11 points to finish in fourth place. He became the first Poole rider to win the coveted Golden Helmet Match Race Championship when he beat Jim McMillan at Poole at the end of June, although his success was short lived as he lost his crown to Ole Olsen just a few days later. He also represented the club at the 1972 British League Riders Championship final
He improved his performances still further in 1973, once again ending the campaign as the highest scorer in the Pirates side, finishing the season with a 9.58 average. An ankle injury brought a premature end to his season which was the last that the Poole fans were to see of the diminutive Swedish international in the club’s colours.
The 1974 season saw the SCB introduce a ban on commuting Swedish riders, leaving Lofqvist to sit out the season in Scandinavia. The ruling was lifted in 1975, but Poole had already signed Malcolm Simmons and Christer was posted to Hackney where he finished his British career.
Christer was later diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour and sadly passed away in February 1978.
Made 49 League and Knockout Cup appearances for the club and scored 453 points.
Was inducted into the Poole Hall of Fame in 1998.