MARTIN YEATES : Salisbury, Wiltshire.
POOLE PIRATE 1972 – 1980 & 1985 – 1987
A former grass track racer, who had his first taste of speedway at the Matchams Park training school in 1971 and made such rapid progress that he made three first team appearances for Poole in 1972.
He continued to ride at reserve for the Pirates when required in 1973 and 1974, while also gaining more experience at Division Two level with Eastbourne, Oxford and Weymouth, where his fast starting technique earned him his ‘Trapper’ nickname.
The next three seasons saw him continue to double – up for the Pirates, where the experience of riding at the top level saw him increase his average every year and it came as no surprise when the Poole promotion decided they wanted him on a full time basis for 1978. Against much tougher opposition he scored 240 points, including three maximum scores, to finish the season with a 6.08 average from 35 league matches.
He stayed a regular member in the Pirates line-up until 1980 when the new promotion at Poole dropped him from the side and transferred him Weymouth where he slipped back into a high scoring groove. The 1984 season saw him finish fifth in the British Final and qualify for the FIM Overseas Final, the first National League rider to progress so far.
The following season saw him move back to Poole where he was more than happy to captain the new look Wildcats for promoter Mervyn Stewkesbury. He led by example finishing with an average of 8.62 with the side just missing out on the league title.
The following year saw him raise his average to 8.80, with the Wildcats once again finishing runners-up in the league standings. He remained an ever present throughout the 1987 season, finishing with an 8.03 average, but this was to prove his swan song as he retired at the end of the season.
Made 264 League and Knockout Cup appearances for the club and scored 1540 points.
Currently ranked the Club’s 18th highest individual points scorer.
Was inducted into the Poole Hall of Fame in 1998