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13th March 2018

As the Pirates prepare for their 70th Anniversary season so comes the sad news of the death of a former rider.

After bravely battling against a long illness, Czech international speedway rider VACLAV VERNER sadly passed away at the age of 68. 

Vaclav joined Poole at the start of 1980 when Exeter withdrew from the British League, and his fiery, never-give-up, style of racing soon made him a big favourite with the Pirates’ fans.
“It is a terribly sad day for the club “ said Pirates team manager Neil Middleditch “ coming so soon after the loss of Odd Fossengen and Bobby Croombs. I knew Vaclav very well both on and off the track, he was an extremely nice man and we were the best of friends, although on track he was fearless and you knew that he would never give up.“
“I rode against him several times before he joined us at Poole and it’s fair to say we had our moments. In fact after one coming together he chased me around the pits with a hammer, but it was all heat of the moment stuff and forgotten about almost immediately afterwards.”

Verner was a regular member of the Poole side throughout 1980 but was refused permission to return for the following season by the Czech authorities. He rejoined the side in 1982 and did enough to be retained for another season in the Pirates colours.However a run of niggling injuries affected his scoring and he turned away from British speedway, preferring to concentrate on his continental racing commitments.

A former Czechoslovakian national champion, Verner was no stranger to the international speedway scene , having qualified for three FIM World Individual Finals, and a member of the Czechoslovakian national side in three FIM World Team Cup finals. His racing abilities knew no boundaries, with Vaclav reaching the finals of the FIM World Ice Championship on no less than three occasions.

His passing is another sad loss for the club and the management and riders of Poole Speedway extend their sincere condolences to the Verner family at this time.


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