Poole Speedway


Poole Pirates

I would like to thank everyone who has visited this unofficial site since it was opened in 2001. Due to increased commitments the site will now be run as a Roll Of Honour to the Poole Pirates Speedway Team. Please visit the Official Poole Speedway web site for up-to-date information throughout the season.

The 2004 Double-Double winning Pirates Team. Left to right, standing: Krzysztof Kasprzak,
Neil Middleditch (manager), Matt Ford (promotor), Antonio Lindback, Ryan Sullivan, Matej Ferjan,
Mike Golding (promotor). Sitting: Bjarne Pedersen, Magnus Zetterstrom (captain), Daniel Davidsson.
Click picture for full size photo.

League Record:

1948–1951 National League Division 3
1952– 1955 National League Division 2
1956 –1959* National League Division 1
1960–1964 Provincial League
1965–1967 British League
1968–1974 British League Division 1
1975–1984 British League
1985–1990 National League
1991–1994 British League Division 1
1995–1996 British Premier League
1997–2012 Elite League
* Note: 1957 was non-league racing only

Note: The Provincial League 1960-64 and National League 1975-90 were effectively 2nd Divisions.

Division One Champions 1969, 1994, 2003, 2004, 2008, 2011, 2013
Division Two Champions 1952, 1955, 1961, 1962, 1989, 1990
Division Three Champions 1951
Southern League Champions

1962, 1963, 1964

Division One Runners-Up 1992, 1999, 2001, 2010, 2012
Division Two Runners-Up 1953, 1954, 1960, 1985, 1986, 1988
Division Three Runners-Up 1950
Knock-Out Cup Winners 1990, 2003, 2004, 2010, 2011, 2012
Knock-Out Cup Runners-Up 1989, 1997, 1999,2008,
BSPA Cup Runners-Up 1991, 1992,
National Trophy D2 Winners 1952, 1954, 1955,
Craven Shield Winners 2001, 2002, 2006,
Craven Shield Runners-Up 2000, 2007,
British League Cup Winners 2003
National Four Team Champions 1994
Festival Of Britain Trophy Winners 1951


The championship winning side from 1969. L to R (on bikes):
Ted Laessing, Frank Shuter, Bruce Cribb, Pete Smith,
Geoff Mudge (capt.), Gordon Guasco, Odd Fossengen.
Standing on R: Ron Hart, manager.

      1948 Tenth out of 12 3
1949 Sixth out of 14 3 1950 Second out of 10 3
1951 First out of 10 3 1952 First out of 12 2
1953 Second out of 9 2 1954 Second out of 11 2
1955 First out of 9 2 1956 Sixth out of 7 1
1957 Open licence racing only 1958 Ninth out of 10 1
1959 Sixth out of 9 1 1960 Second out of 10 2
1961 First out of 11 2 1962 First out of 13 2
1963 Third out of 13 2 1964 Sixth out of 12 2
1965 Tenth out of 18 1 1966 Sixth out of 19 1
1967 Sixth out of 19 1 1968 Seventeenth out of 19 1
1969 First out of 19 1 1970 Fifth out of 19 1
1971 Eleventh out of 19 1 1972 Seventh out of 18 1
1973 Fourteenth out of 18 1 1974 Fourteenth out of 17 1
1975 Fifteenth out of 18 1 1976 Tenth out of 19 1
1977 Tenth out of 19 1 1978 Tenth out of 19 1
1979 Twelfth out of 18 1 1980 Ninth out of 17 1
1981 Ninth out of 16 1 1982 Fifteenth out of 15 1
1983 Thirteenth out of 15 1 1984 Thirteenth out of 16 1
1985 Second out of 19 2 1986 Second out of 20 2
1987 Eighth out of 16 2 1988 Second out of 16 2
1989 First out of 18 2 1990 First out of 17 2
1991 Tenth out of 13 1 1992 Third out of 13 1
1993 Tenth out of 11 1 1994 First out of 11 1
1995 Twelfth out of 21 1 1996 Fourteenth out of 19 1
1997 Tenth out of 10 1 1998 Eighth out of 9 1
1999 Second out of 10 1 2000 Fifth out of 9 1
2001 Second out of 9 1 2002 Fourth out of 9 1
2003 First out of 8 1 2004 First out of 10 1
2005 Fifth out of 10 1 2006 Seventh out of 11 1
2007 Fourth out of 10 1 2008 First out of 9 1
2009 Eighth out of 9 1 2010 Second out of 9 1
2011 First out of 10 1 2012 Second out of 10 1
2013 First out of 10 1 2014    

National League and KO Cup Champions 1990, and the team with the largest away victory, so far.
Click image for a full size photo.
Craig Boyce.
The all-time leading
points scorer.

All Time Greatest Victories
Biggest Home Win:
73-17 v Eastbourne KOC (23.04.97)
Biggest Away Wins:
1994, Eastbourne 0 - 80 Poole D1 - awarded by BSPA after meeting was rained off
near the end of season and Eastbourne refused to re-stage it.
1990, Peterborough 29 - 67 Poole D2
1989, Mildenhall 30 - 66 Poole D2
1962 Leicester 32 - 64 Poole. Provincial Cup, 1st Round.
1953 Southampton 23 - 61 Poole. Hampshire and Dorset Trophy, 1st leg.
1990, Eastbourne 35 - 61 Poole D2
1955, Southampton 35 - 61 Poole D2
1952, Oxford 24 - 60 Poole D2
1951, Wolves 25 - 59 Poole D3
1952, Liverpool 25 - 58 Poole D2
1951, St. Austell 28 - 56 Poole D3
2001, Belle Vue 32 - 58 Poole D1 = Biggest proper D1 away League Victory.
1951, St. Austell 26 - 53 Poole D3

Elite League
Best and Worse Performances (1997-2004):
Biggest Win: Home: 65-25 v Coventry (24.09.97). Away: 58-32 at Belle Vue (23.07.01)
Biggest Defeat: Home: 26-64 v Ipswich (01.07.98). Away: 25-68 at Belle Vue (15.09.04)

League Champions D1 1994. L-R (standing): Jason Crump,
Jorgen Johannsen, Neil Street (manager), Steve Masters,
Martin Willis, Lars Gunnestad.
(kneeling) Alun Rossiter, Craig Boyce, Steve Schofield.

Pirates' Statistics since the formation of the club in 1948.

Highest Average Year by Year Official Matches Only

Minimum 12 Matches only

All Time Top 10
Season Rider Average No. Rider Season Average
1965 Ronnie Genz 9.45 1. Tony Rickardsson 2002 10.94
1966 Bill Andrew 9.12 2. Malcolm Simmons 1978 10.77
1967 Gote Nordin 9.99 3. Craig Boyce 1990 10.45*
1968 Bill Andrew 8.32 4. Jason Crump 1995 10.44
1969 Pete Smith 9.20 5. Malcolm Simmons 1975 10.41
1970 Geoff Mudge 7.93 6. Steve Schofield 1986 10.36*
1971 Reidar Eide 9.10 7. Malcolm Simmons 1977 10.27
1972 Christer Lofqvist 8.96 8. Steve Schofield 1988 10.22*
1973 Christer Lofqvist 9.58 9. Michael Lee 1983 10.16
1974 Eric Broadbelt 8.59 10. Malcolm Simmons 1976 10.11
1975 Malcolm Simmons 10.41   Division 2*
1976 Malcolm Simmons 10.11

Malcolm Simmons

'Super Simmo'
Malcolm Simmons dominated
the Pirates line-up in the late 1970s.
He holds four of the top ten slots and topped the Pirates' averages on six consecutive occasions.
1977 Malcolm Simmons 10.27
1978 Malcolm Simmons 10.77
1979 Malcolm Simmons 9.04
1980 Malcolm Simmons 9.40
1981 John Davis 9.70
1982 John Davis 8.68
1983 Michael Lee 10.16
1984 Michael Lee 9.24
1991 Marvyn Cox 8.67
1992 Marvyn Cox 9.26
1993 Craig Boyce 7.40
1994 Jason Crump 9.30
1995 Jason Crump 10.44
1996 Craig Boyce 9.38
1997 Craig Boyce 9.46
1998 Gary Havelock 8.17
1999 Mark Loram 9.85
2000 Mark Loram 9.88
2001 Tony Rickardsson 9.46
2002 Tony Rickardsson 10.94
2003 Leigh Adams 10.14  
2004 Ryan Sullivan 8.29  

F.I.M. World Individual Championship Finalists:

Brian Crutcher 1952
Michael Lee - World Champion 1980
Christer Lofqvist 1972
Malcolm Simmons 1975, 1976*, 1977
Vaclav Verner 1982
Michael Lee 1983
Slawomir Drabik 1992
Craig Boyce 1994
Jason Crump 1994
* Runner-Up in that year

F.I.M. World Individual Championship Grand Prix Series:

Jason Crump 1995
Lars Gunnestad 1995, 1998
Marvyn Cox 1996
Craig Boyce 1996, 1998
Slawomir Drabik 1997
Ryan Sullivan 1998, 2004
Scott Nicholls 1999
Mark Loram 1999, 2000*
Tony Rickardsson 2001*, 2002*, 2003, 2004
Grzegorz Walasek 2001
Krzysztof Cegielski  2001
Leigh Adams 2003  
Bjarne Pedersen 2004  
Krzysztof Kasprzak 2004#  
Antonio Lindback 2004#  
* World Individual Champion in that year. Above: Tony Rickardsson.
# Wild Card entry.

2000 Mark Loram becomes first Pirate to lift World Crown

F.I.M. World Under-21 Championship Finalists:

Scott Nicholls
Neil Middleditch 1978
Ron Preston 1979*
Leif Wahlmann 1984
Leigh Adams 1989
Jason Crump 1994, 1995*
Scott Nicholls 1999
Lee Richardson 1999*
* World Under-21 Champion in that year

British Under-21 Championship Finalists:

Neil Middleditch 1975*, 1978
Neil Middleditch
Justin Elkins 1993, 1994, 1995
Lee Richardson 1999
Scott Nicholls 1999*

* British Under-21 Champion in that year





First appearances for the Poole Pirates by riders
from countries outside of the United Kingdom:

Australia Alan Wall 1950

Odd Fossengen
'Oddy' as he became known, quickly
established himself as a firm favourite
with the Poole Fans of the late 1960s

Canada Dave Dodd 1960
Czechoslovakia Vaclav Verner 1980
Denmark Claes Jensen 1981
Germany Christoph Betzl 1975
Italy Armando Castagna 1997
New Zealand Jack Cunningham 1951
Norway Odd Fossengen 1968
Poland Antonin Woryna 1973
South Africa Vern McWilliams 1953
Slovenia Matej Ferjan 1999
Sweden Birger Forsberg 1958
United States Mike Caruso 1978
Zimbabwe Peter Prinsloo 1980

The Johnny Thompson Memorial Trophy

Pete Smith
Pete is one of the longest serving
Pirates so far in the club's history.
He was also an England International.
1955 Allan Kidd Poole
1956 Cyril Roger Poole
1957 Brian Crutcher Southampton
1958 Ken McKinlay Leicester
1959 Ron How Wimbledon
1960 Tony Lewis Poole
1961 Jack Scott Plymouth
1962 Geoff Mudge Poole
1963 Ross Gilbertson Poole
1964 Jim Squibb Exeter
1965 Bill Andrew Poole
1966 Bill Andrew Poole
1967 Reidar Eide Coatbridge
1968 Barry Briggs Swindon
1969 Geoff Mudge Poole
1970 Trevor Hedge Wimbledon
1971 Pete Smith Poole
1972 Pete Smith Poole
The Shield has not been held since 1972

The Poole Blue Riband:

Year Winner Club
1970 Barry Briggs Swindon
Martin Ashby
Jim McMillan
1971 Ole Olsen Wolverhampton
Anders Michanek
Barry Briggs
1972 Ray Wilson Leicester
Nigel Boocock
Barry Briggs
1973 Anders Michanek Reading
Peter Collins
Belle Vue
Christer Lofqvist
1974 Ole Olsen Wolverhampton
John Louis
Ivan Mauger
1975 Malcolm Simmons Poole
Scott Autrey
John Louis
1976 Malcolm Simmons Poole
Eric Broadbelt
Phil Crump
1977 Malcolm Simmons Poole
Dave Jessop
Phil Herne
1978 Malcolm Simmons Poole
Ole Olsen
Scott Autrey
1979 Bobby Schwartz Cradley Heath
Jim McMillan
Larry Ross
1980 Dave Jessop King's Lynn
Scott Autrey
Bobby Schwartz
1981 Bruce Penhall Cradley Heath
Peter Prinsloo
Dennis Sigalos
1982 Bobby Schwartz Reading
Phil Crump
Simon Wigg
1983 Eric Gundersen Cradley Heath
Simon Wigg
Cradley Heath
Lance King
Cradley Heath
1984 Mitch Shirra Reading
Erik Gundersen
Cradley Heath
Bobby Schwartz
1985 Stan Bear Poole
Kevin Smith
Bruce Cribb
1986 Kevin Smith Poole
Les Collins
Nigel Crabtree
1987 Mel Taylor Mildenhall
Neville Tatum
Steve Schofield
1988 Steve Schofield Poole
Mel Taylor
Jen Rasmussen
Rye House
1989 Steve Schofield Poole
Alastair Stevens
Mick Poole
1990 Chris Louis Ipswich
Alun Rossiter
Steve Regeling
1991 Marvyn Cox Poole
Gary Havelock
Jan O Pedersen
Cradley Heath
1992 Mitch Shirra Swindon
Marvyn Cox
Craig Boyce
1993 Not Staged  
1994 Lars Gunnestad Poole
Jason Crump
Craig Boyce
1995 Lars Gunnestad Poole
Steve Schofield
Greg Bartlett
1996 Lars Gunnestad Poole
Marvyn Cox
Steve Schofield
1997 Craig Boyce Poole
Joe Screen
Mark Lemon
1998 Jimmy Nilsen Swindon
Sam Ermolenko
Joe Screen
Belle Vue
1999 Not Staged  
2000 Not Staged  
2001 Tony Rickardsson Poole Garry Havelock Poole Grzegorz Walasek Poole
2002 - 2012 Not Staged
2013 Darcy Ward Poole
Bjarne Pedersen
Greg Hancockk

Lars Gunnestad
3 Times Winner of Blue Riband
Above: Lars plying his trade for the
Pirates at Wimborne Road
Right: A moment of tension as Lars prepares for action


Up to and including 31.10.01
Rider Points Testimonial Men Year
 1. Craig Boyce 3828 PETE SMITH 1976
 2. Steve Schofield 3348.5 NEIL MIDDLEDITCH 1984
 3. Pete Smith 3287.5 STEVE SCHOFIELD 1995
 4. Geoff Mudge 2789.5 ALUN ROSSITER 2000
 5. Lars Gunnestad 2539 LARS GUNNESTAD 2001
 6. Ken Middleditch 2430.5 CRAIG BOYCE 2003
 7. Neil Middleditch 2380.5 BJARNE PEDERSEN  
 8. Malcolm Simmons   2145 DAVEY WATT  
 9. Kevin Smith 1931.5 KRZYSZTOF KASPRZAK   
10. Tony Lewis 1785    

A Brief History of Poole Speedway. 1948–2001

Speedway racing was first staged at the Poole Stadium on 26th April 1948, under the directorship of C. E. Brewer, H. G. Hayden and team manager E. J. Crutcher. The Pirates lined up for their inaugural season as members of the 3rd Division of the National League. They did reasonably well in their first year, but really hit the heights in 1951 under the new promotional team of Len Matchan and Geoff Bravery, when they not only won the Festival of Britain Shield, but also carried off the 3rd Division championship and with it, promotion to Division 2.

The step up failed to stop the club's ambitions, with Poole going from strength to strength to take the Division 2 title at the first attempt, however, any thoughts of attaining First Division status for 1953 were dashed by the Speedway Control Board. Coronation year saw the Pirates finish runners-up to Coventry in the 2nd Division title race, with the club missing out on the championship by just one point, and more of the same was to follow in 1954, with another second place finish in the league, this time behind Bristol.

1955 saw Poole very much in a class of their own, as they walked off with the 2nd Division title for the second time in four seasons and promotion to Division One. This makes Poole the only club so far in British speedway history to have won promotion from the bottom division right up to the top!

Poole did well for a promoted side and were one of the front runners of the league competition before dropping back to a sixth place finish. But the end of the 1956 season brought rumours of closure, and when the shutters went up early in the New Year, the reality came as no surprise, with the promoters citing poor attendance figures and petrol rationing for their decision.

Unhappily when speedway returned to Wimborne Road in June 1957, the Pirates had lost their league status, with only a series of open meetings scheduled to be raced. However, in a bid to race in front of a bigger audience, Rayleigh promoter Vic Gooden brought his side to Poole to race two Division One league matches against Belle Vue and Norwich. The side were temporarily dubbed as the 'Rayleigh Pirates'. At the end of the year, Gooden took over the promoting rights and shifted his operation to Poole, fully under the banner of Poole Pirates, in time for the start of the 1958 campaign. After two unsuccessful seasons, Stadium redevelopment plans forced him to move the side to Ipswich for the 1960 season, but speedway remained at Poole, with the Southampton-based Knott family taking over the reins at Wimborne Road.

They redeveloped the stadium site, introducing greyhound racing for the first time at Wimborne Road, and also installed a completely new, if smaller, speedway track. And in keeping with the new facilities, the Pirates took to the new track in a new speedway league, opting for Provincial League status in the re-formed league structure.

A successful 1960 campaign saw the re-formed Pirates finish runners-up to Rayleigh, in what was to become a renaissance period for speedway throughout the country. With new clubs joining the league the future looked rosy for speedway and Poole. And so it proved with the Pirates completing a Provincial League winning 'double' during the next two years. 1964 saw the Pirates, and the Provincial League, operating outside of the jurisdiction of the Speedway Control Board, with open warfare between the SCB and the Provincial League promoters. Once the season started, Poole soon knew that there would be no third championship win, with the Pirates having to settle for sixth place to end a topsy-turvy year.

The long awaited enquiry to look at the running of British speedway finally made its results known during December, with the promoters gaining more control at the expense of the Speedway Control Board. However, the main talking point was the introduction of one big British League, with 18 teams, including Poole, jumping at the chance of membership.

Poole remained in the top flight for twenty seasons, winning the league title for the first time in 1969. The club continued to be administered by the Knott family until midway through the 1979 season when Reg Fearman bought out the promoting rights. Fearman and various partners continued to promote speedway at Wimborne Road until the end of the 1984 season when financial problems forced the closure of the club.

However, speedway was not to be lost to the town, when last minute salvation came in the form of Mervyn Stewkesbury and Peter Ansell, who moved their Weymouth operation to Poole Stadium for the start of the 1985 season. Their decision to move along the South Coast proved to be one of speedway's more inspired switches, with the club soon becoming one of the 'giants' of the National League.

The move saw several changes at Wimborne Road, with the new promoters choosing to enter the National League under the name of the Poole Wildcats (after the Weymouth Wildcats). This proved to be unpopular with the Poole fans and after a two year spell, which saw them twice finish runners-up in the League competition, the club reverted to its original Pirates nickname in time for the 1987 season. Overall, the club's six year spell in the lower league proved to be one of the most successful eras in its long history, with the team again finishing runners-up in 1988 before racing to League Championship success in 1989, and a League and Cup double in 1990.

At the end of 1990, the league competitions underwent yet another restructuring, with Poole being elevated to the top flight of the reformed British League. The Pirates soon adapted to the faster pace of the new league, winning the British League championship title for a second time in 1994. But speedway was on a downward path and 1997 saw the Promoters Association try and arrest the downward slide with the launch of the Premier and Elite Leagues. Stewkesbury and Ansell chose to take Poole into the Elite section, but success turned its back on the club leaving the Pirates firmly anchored to the lower reaches of the league standings.

Changes at boardroom level saw Stewkesbury sell his controlling interests to Matt Ford and Mike Golding at the start of 1999, a move that saw a complete about turn in the fortunes of the club. Poole put in a season long challenge for the league title, failing only to take the title when losing in the very last heat of the season at King's Lynn.

The dawning of the new millennium saw the crowds flocking back to Wimborne Road in droves, and although the team failed to live up to expectations in the league, the supporters soon had another hero to cheer. By the end of the season they were able to welcome the club's first ever World Individual Speedway Champion, Mark Loram, who lifted the crown at the end of an exciting Grand Prix series. Tony Rickardsson joined Poole in 2001 and lifted the world crown in that year and the following. He was joined by Leigh Adams in the Pirates ranks in 2003, and together they spearheaded the team to an incredible triple championship of Elite League, Knock Out Cup and British League Cup glory. If that was not enough, the following year in 2004, a revamped side swept all away again claiming all available domestic honours of League and KO Cup, and in doing so, propelling the side to back-to-back League and Cup doubles - the first time this has been achieved by any top-flight club since Belle Vue in the early 1970's.

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