Former Eastbourne Eagles skipper Lee Richardson will be honoured when two of his former clubs open their 2017 season on Good Friday.

The IT First Eagles and Vortex Lakeside Hammers meet home and away for the inaugural running of the Lee Richardson Memorial Trophy.

Richardson, 33, died in May 2013 after crashing into the safety fence during a Polish league match at Wroclaw.

The rider, who lived at Hastings with his wife, Emma, and three sons, rode with distinction for both clubs.

Father Colin had a glorious career at Arlington and Lee followed in his tyre tracks in 2008 when he captained the Eagles to Knockout Cup glory.

Richardson won the cup again the following year, riding for Lakeside.

Eagles chairman Martin Dugard is looking forward to renewing rivalries with Lakeside.

He said: “This for a long time was our traditional Easter fixture and it is good that Lakeside have now joined us in the National League.

"With Kent in the same league, this is a perfect scenario for speedway in the South East of England.

“(Lakeside bosses) Kelvin Tatum and Jon Cook are both local to us and we are certainly looking to put one over them, if we can.

"It is good to have that rivalry. There’s nothing malicious about it but, of course, both teams will want to win this trophy which is a fitting memorial to Lee.”

Dugard recalled Richardson as being a great professional.

He added: “Lee was as good as the best on his day.

"He was very much a people person and knew how to conduct himself in a professional manner.

“You never had controversy with Lee and you would never see him spitting out his dummy and jumping up and down.

“Lee was a great ambassador for speedway.”

Tatum believes the clash is a perfect opportunity to commemorate the career of Richardson.

He said: "It's very exciting to be rekindling our rivalry with the old enemy and they should be two fantastic meetings.

"That's combined with the fact we'll be celebrating and remembering Lee Richardson, who was a club legend at Lakeside and also enjoyed success with Eastbourne.

"I think it's a great idea to commemorate him. It's also a perfect way for us to start the season.

"Particularly for Lakeside, it's an exciting start to our first season in the National League and we're all looking forward to it."

Lakeside stalwart Terry Partlett has donated the silverware.

Fixture details

GOOD FRIDAY (April 14)

Lee Richardson Memorial Trophy

Lakeside v Eastbourne at the Arena Essex Raceway, 1pm.

Eastbourne v Lakeside at Arlington Stadium, 7.30pm.