RIP LEE RICHARDSON
Sunday 13th May 2012, 21:08
Tributes are pouring in for former Grand Prix rider Lee Richardson, who died following a crash in a Polish Ekstraliga meeting at Wroclaw on Sunday evening.
The Rzeszow rider was rushed to hospital and underwent surgery after suffering internal bleeding and breathing difficulties in the spill. He died on the operating table at around 8pm (BST).
Richardson hit the back straight fence and suffered a heavy blow to the chest area after running into difficulties as he pursued Wroclaw duo Tomasz Jedrzejak and Freddie Lindgren in heat three.
"RIP Rico. Top, top bloke in the sport; I looked up to you so much man. I'm in tears right now. I really don't want to believe this."
- Lewis Bridger
Riders have taken to Twitter in their droves to pay their respects to Rico. World champion Greg Hancock said: “Unreal news I just heard! It doesn't seem real and another innocent one is gone. Our thoughts are with the whole Richardson Family. RIP Lee.”
Team GB international Lewis Bridger said: “RIP Rico. Top, top bloke in the sport; I looked up to you so much man. I'm in tears right now. I really don't want to believe this.”
His former SGP rival Scott Nicholls said: “I am speechless & cannot think of any words to say at this very, very sad time. My thoughts are with the Richardson family & friends. RIP.”
Grand Prix regular Hans Andersen added: “I'm shocked. Life ain't fair and my thoughts go out to the Richardson family. Lee, always a top bloke and you will be deeply missed RIP.”
Belle Vue rider Rory Schlein said: “Speedway at the mo means nothing. Will miss you Lee, our laughs we had on our flights and I will always remember. RIP Rico.”
Former Cardiff wild card David Howe said: “Shocked at the news about Lee; terrible news. Can't imagine what his family are going though. Sad day for the sport, totally numb.”
The 33-year-old, who was crowned World Under-21 champion in 1999, made his Grand Prix debut in the FIM British SGP at Coventry in 2000, where he scored three points.
After reaching the semi-finals in Cardiff in 2002, he stormed to victory in the GP Challenge at Polish track Pila on August 25 that year to earn a full-time spot in the SGP series for 2003.
Richardson spent four straight seasons in the World Championship between 2003 and 2006. He finished third at the British SGP in 2004 and collected a stunning second place behind Tomasz Gollob in the Polish Grand Prix at Bydgoszcz in 2005.
The Hastings-born man also holds the distinction of being Team Great Britain’s record point-scorer in the FIM Speedway World Cup, in which he bagged 240 points across 10 tournaments for the Lions.
He starred as the Brits came within a point of winning gold at Poole in 2004 and also claimed bronze at Reading in 2006.
The Lakeside and Vargarna star raced for Reading, Poole, Peterborough, King’s Lynn, Coventry, Swindon and Eastbourne during a stellar UK career, which saw him crowned Elite League Riders champion in 2003.
Everyone at BSI Speedway sends their condolences to Lee’s family, friends and many fans at this very sad time.
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- 24/05: DANISH CHAMP STARS IN SLANGERUP
- 24/05: HARRIS RUMOURS SLAMMED
- 24/05: EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT ON KING'S LYNN TICKETS
- 24/05: PUK PUZZLED BY SGP FORM
- 23/05: NICKI OUT OF DANISH FINAL
- 23/05: HANCOCK LEADS AMERICAN ASSAULT
- 23/05: TRIALS ICON BOU SET FOR CARDIFF
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