The idea of a Poole Speedway Hall of Fame was conceived by long standing Pirates fan Gordon Day in 1994 with the purpose of honouring riders who had contributed to the history and success of the Poole Pirates speedway racing team.
Hall of Fame is Launched
After discussing the idea with several fans, he had an article published in the Poole Speedway Raceday Magazine asking fans for their nominations, the only criteria being that the chosen riders had to have ridden for the club as an asset, or loanee, and be permanently retired from the sport. The response was immediate, with the nominations being published in PEP-Talk, the Poole Speedway fanzine and the first group of riders inducted. They were, Ken Middleditch, Tony Lewis, Brian Crutcher, Terry Small, Norman Strachan, Geoff Mudge, Pete Smith, Odd Fossengen, Martin Yeates, and Christer Lofqvist.
In 1998, Poole Museum staged a Stars of Speed exhibition, commemorating fifty years of speedway in the town. The Hall of Fame was a major feature, with individual boards carrying the rider’s picture and a brief biography taking up a large part of the display. A second group of riders was inducted at this time, and they were, Charlie Hayden, Dennis James, Neil Middleditch, Malcolm Simmons, and John Davis.
2008 saw the club celebrate its Diamond Jubilee with a third group of riders inducted during the club’s celebration dinner, where Mr Matt Ford, the club’s owner, presented special plaques to all the attending Hall of Fame members. The third group was made up of Kevin Smith, Steve Schofield, Craig Boyce, Bill Holden, Alun Rossiter, Lars Gunnestad, Krzysztof Cegielski, and Tony Rickardsson, since when two more Poole legends have been added to the Hall of Fame, Mark Loram in 2010 and Gary Havelock in 2012.
The above picture shows Mark Loram and his wife and some of the fans who attended the ceremony to induct Mark into the Poole Speedway Hall of Fame in 2010.
Picture shows seven of the Hall of Fame members at the opening of the Poole Speedway Hall of Fame Gallery in the Champs Bar at Poole Stadium, March 2008.
They are, Bill Holden, Norman Strachan, Pete Smith, Martin Yeates, Ken Middleditch, Brian Crutcher, and Kevin Smith.
Bill Holden with the silver salver presented to him on his induction to the Hall of Fame in 2008
The official Poole Speedway Hall of Fame Gallery is on permanent display in the Champions Bar at Poole Stadium.