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Tributes paid to tragic Eastbourne Eagles speedway star
A TV presenter has led the tributes to a speedway racer who died in action on Sunday.
Former BBC motorsport correspondent Suzi Perry described Hastings-born racer and former Eastbourne Eagle Lee Richardson as “a magnificent rider and lovely guy”.
She is one of hundreds of fans, colleagues and other motorsport figures who have paid tribute to the 33-year-old, who died while racing in Poland.
Father-of-three Mr Richardson, who was affectionately known as Rico, was competing in a Polish League meeting when he crashed into a safety fence. The Lakeside Hammers captain was taken to a hospital, suffering from internal bleeding, breathing difficulties and a leg injury, but died later.
Writing on her Twitter page, Ms Perry said: “I have just heard the terribly sad news about the death of speedway’s Lee Richardson.
“How tragic, he was a magnificent rider and lovely guy.”
She was joined in expressing her condolences by the leader of Eastbourne Borough Council, David Tutt.
‘Tragedy’ He said: “Lee’s riding brought great pleasure and excitement to speedway fans. His untimely death is a tragedy and he will be sadly missed by many.”
Three-times speedway world champion Nicki Pedersen paid tribute on his website, calling Mr Richardson “a true gentleman”, while current world champion Greg Hancock also expressed his shock at the incident.
Earlier this month, Mr Richardson had paid tribute to another race star who passed away prematurely, Malcolm Holloway, using his own Twitter site.
One of his last tweets was congratulating speedway legend Nicki Pedersen and arranging to see him on Tuesday.
Mr Richardson, who is originally from Hastings, made his speedway debut with the Reading Racers in 1995 and in a long and distinguished career took part in 10 speedwayWorld Cups, becoming Team Great Britain’s record point-scorer.
His current team, The Lakeside Hammers, postponed last night’s meeting at Coventry.
The team’s next home tie on Friday against Swindon, one |of Lee’s former clubs, will act as an evening of remembrance for the former world under-21 champion.