|Lee Richardson - 1979 - 2012|
Yesterday, British speedway rider Lee Richardson lost his life following a track crash in Poland. He was rushed to hospital, but his injuries were simply too severe, and tragically he lost his fight for life shortly after. He was 33 years old, and lost his life simply doing his job.
I have been following speedway for 25 years - in that time I have seen too many crashes to count. So many look horrific, but the riders get up, dust themselves down, and come out again in their next race. Every now and then you get one more serious - the awful injuries sustained by both Mark Loram & Chris Louis spring to mind. Both men have recovered, but neither have raced a bike again since, and there have been many others in recent times even worse - Garry Stead, Kim Jansson....
I have personally witnessed one crash where a rider sustained injuries severe enough that he lost his life some days later. It is something you simply never forget - even now, some 23 years later I can see every second of that incident. I wish I couldn't, in the same way that those present in Poland yesterday will be wishing they'd not seen Lee's crash. You simply have to learn to live with it - it's all you can do - it's that or walk away from the sport that mostly, we love so much. On days like today, it feels closer to hate.
The death of Lee has left the speedway world in mourning today. He leaves a wife and three children, and our hearts go out to them, and his other family and friends.
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