Leave your tributes for ex-Reading Racers rider Lee Richardson
Former riders dies after crash in Poland
READING speedway fans have been stunned by the death of former rider Lee Richardson.
The 33-year-old crashed while riding for PGE Marma Rzeszow against Betard Sparta Wroclaw in Poland on Sunday.
The father-of-three was rushed to hospital but died of his injuries.
His death has sent shockwaves throughout the sport and a minute's silence was held before last night's televised Elite League meeting between Belle Vue Aces and Birmingham Brummies.
Hastings-born Richardson was fondly remembered by supports of the Reading Racers, having started his career at Smallmead as a 15-year-old.
Former Chronicle speedway correspondent Nick Dyer said: "I felt really close to Lee having been with him in his earliest rookie season with Tim Sugar (ex-Racers manager) at Reading. I remember travelling to his debut meeting in Tim's van.
"I also worked with Lee's mum on the TV commentaries that used to run on local cable and I can't even think what his wife is going through."
Richardson made his debut for the Racers in 1995 and was part of the team that won league and cup honours the following year.
He was crowned World Under 21 Champion in 1999 and rode for a variety of clubs after Reading including Peterborough, Swindon, Eastbourne and Poole.
He was the current captain of Lakeside Hammers when he died.
Hammers owner Stuart Douglas said: "Lee's death is a truly shocking piece of news. Sometimes the dangers the riders face in this sport are sidelined in the competitive spirit, but this proves just how brave speedway riders are.
"Lee is a magnificent rider, and our club, and the speedway family around the world, are left totally bereft by this tragedy."
The news is a second blow for Racers fans following the death of ex-rider and co-promoter Malcolm Holloway from a heart attack last week.
Leave your Lee Richardson tributes below.
This article appeared in Reading Chronicle 15 May 12
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May 16, 19:48