Get involved: Send your news, views, pictures and video by texting SUPIC to 80360 or email us.
Arlington is perfect place to honour track legend
Lee Richardson's long-time friend and sponsor has explained why Arlington Stadium is the perfect place to honour the Great Britain star.
Richardson was killed in a racing accident in Poland three weeks ago yesterday.
His funeral, for family and invited friends only, is being held in his home town of Hastings on Thursday.
It will be followed by a wake at Arlington, which gets under way at 3pm and will run well into the evening.
The wake is open to all and the dress code is casual.
Martin Hagon, who was Richardson’s main sponsor for many years, is involved in organising the event.
He believes, after speaking to Richardson’s family, the speedway track is an ideal location for the wake.
The rider’s wife Emma, mum Julie and brother Craig were all involved in the decision.
Hagon said: “Through talking to Emma, Julie and Craig we realised the crematorium is not that big and we wanted to move on somewhere afterwards.
“It is difficult to know what’s the right thing to do and how many people will be attending.
“Emma had the idea of doing something at the Eastbourne track.
“It’s big enough, people know where it is and we think a lot of people will like to just go to the track and talk about speedway and Lee.
“Losing Lee was a terrible loss and, of course, this is something we never wanted to have to organise.
“But I think this gives people a chance to go and pay their respects.”
Marquees will help accommodate what is expected to be a big turnout.
Top riders and fans from Richardson’s clubs overseas are expected to attend.
Richardson, son of former Eagles star Colin, learned to ride speedway at Arlington as a young boy.
He captained Eastbourne in 2008 when Hagon had a year as promoter.
Family and friends would often relax and socialise together before and after meetings and practices.
Hagon added: “We had a lot of really good times down there.
“We would have barbecues down there sometimes with the families, just relax.
“It’s hard to have any idea on how many will turn up on Thursday.
“We know more than 300 have confirmed they will go via Facebook and there have been about 140 ‘maybes’ on top of that.
“It’s a difficult one but Lee was speedway through and through so the track seems the right place to get together to remember his life.”
Eastbourne fans were reminded of the event as they watched their team race Poole Pirates on Saturday.
Trackside announcer Kevin Coombes explained the casual dress code.
He told supporters: “Lee’s family have said he was never one for a suit or a tie so feel free to come in your jeans and casual clothes and remember him.”
Fans throughout the world of speedway were stunned by Richardson’s death after a smash while racing for Rzeszow in a league clash at Wroclaw.
The local council in Rzeszow have reportedly named a roundabout after Richardson and bosses at his previous Polish club Czestochowa staged a simple but stunning tribute service to him at their stadium in the presence of his close family.