TONY LEWIS : Ferndown, Dorset.
POOLE PIRATE 1949 – 1968
One of the tallest riders to don the famous skull and bones racejacket, Tony raced on the local grass tracks before turning to speedway in 1949. He was offered a trial at the Poole club where he was coached by Pirates rider Frank Holcombe to become one of the great white line riders of his time.
The following year saw him force his way into the team, where his efforts earned him the Freshman’s Tankard, awarded for the best performance by a first year Pirate. Team manager Sid Hazzard was so impressed with Lewis’s efforts that he teamed him with Ken Middleditch and they quickly formed a team riding partnership that was to become legendary during their time with the club.
Christened ‘Me and My Shadow’ by the Poole supporters, their almost telepathic understanding made them virtually unbeatable wherever they raced, and was the backbone of the Pirates side that won three league title between 1951 and 1955.
One of the best ‘ white line’ riders of his day, his riding was rewarded with international caps against Sweden, New Zealand, and the United States. A regular member of the Poole team that dominated the Second Division, he continued his successful partnership with Middleditch, while also taking part in the club’s 1953 tour of Sweden.
Tony sustained a fractured skull during the 1955 tour of Sweden which almost cost him his life, and which was to keep him out of racing until 1960 when he made a surprise return to track action. Almost at once he was back to his best form, helping Poole to more success when winning the Provincial League in 1961 and 1962, while also setting three track record times for the 347 metre / 380 yard Poole circuit.
A true one club man, and one of its most loyal servants, Tony retired in 1968, one of the few riders to have ridden in five different leagues of British speedway for the same club. He continued to keep a close watch on events at Wimborne Road, taking over the reins as Team Manager from 1973 following the retirement of Ron Hart, a position he held for the next seven years.
Made 339 League, National Trophy, and Knockout Cup appearances for the club and scored 2435 points.
Currently ranked the Club’s 9th highest individual points scorer.
Was inducted into the Poole Hall of Fame in 1994