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Tragedy as Thurrock speedway star dies
10:37pm Sunday 13th May 2012 in News
A LAKESIDE Hammers speedway rider has died following a crash whilst racing in Poland.
Lee Richardson, captain of the Thurrock based speedway team, was competing for Polish league side PGE Marma Rzeszow on Sunday when he collided with a saftey fence.
He was taken to Warsaw hospital with internal bleeding and a serious leg injury but later died.
A statement released by the Hammers said: "All at the club are devastated at the loss of a great Captain, man and more than anything else a wonderful father and husband.
"Our thoughts are with his family at this most sad of times and we know that all Hammers fans will share our total devastation at this tragic news."
The 33-year-old dad of three, who had represented Great Britain on numerous occasions, had been racing for the Lakeside Hammers in the British Speedway league since 2009.
Stuart Douglas, Hammers owner, has paid tribute to the Hammers rider from Hasting, East Sussex. He said: "Lee’s death is a truly shocking piece of news.
"Sometimes the dangers the riders face in this sport are sidelined in the competitive spirit, but this proves just how brave speedway riders are.
"Lee is a magnificent rider, and our club, and the speedway family around the world, are left totally bereft by this tragedy.
"All the management and supporters of The Lakeside Hammers join together to send our love and prayers to Lee’s lovely young family at this tragic time. RIP Lee. God Bless you."
The club has moved to cancel it's race meet with Coventry, which had been due to take place on the night of Monday 14 May.
The racing star, nicknamed "Rico", had been racing since 1995 and was World Under-21 Champion in 1999.