The 1948 Poole PiratesThe Volvo Cars Poole Pirates and Poole community will reflect on 70 years of speedway in the town on Thursday night.
Poole promoter Matt Ford has put together a representative septet to ride in Yarmouth colours against his Poole class of 2018 – 70 years to the day since the Pirates’ first meeting against the Bloaters – to mark the Dorset club’s platinum birthday.
Poole’s season-starting 1948 team racked up a 74-32 National Cup win over the Bloaters in that first meeting, paving the way for decades of almost unrivalled success for the Dorset club.
The likes of Nicolai Klindt, Troy Batchelor, Rohan Tungate, Ricky Wells and Jason Garrity will pull on Yarmouth race jackets and line up against a Pirates team including Brady Kurtz, Josh Grajczonek, Linus Sundstrom, Kacper Woryna and Mateusz Szczepaniak.
Tributes will also be paid to the four riders to have lost their lives through crashes on the Poole track since the club’s formation, Poole duo Kevin Holden (1977) and Johnny Thomson (1955), Norwich’s Malcolm Flood (1956) and former Yarmouth racer Reg Craven (1948).
Craven was riding in his first meeting for the Bloaters in 1948 when he crashed on the first bend and died of his injuries eight days later.
Ford said: “Speedway is a dangerous sport and we should never forget the risks that riders take when they get on track.
“While this meeting is a celebration of 70 years of speedway in Poole, we will also be marking the passing of Kevin Holden, Johnny Thomson, Malcolm Flood and Reg Craven before the racing begins. I’m sure Reg would approve of us putting together a special Bloaters team for the night and I can’t wait to see the club’s colours back on Poole shale.”
Ford has reduced admission prices for Thursday’s meeting, with supporters buying a £5 souvenir programme gaining entry for just £3.
As well as the racing, Meatloaf tribute Terry Nash will be performing live and the stadium will be open between 2.30pm and 5.30pm for a free ‘History of Poole Speedway’ event.