COLIN GOODDY POOLE PIRATE 1974 – 1978
Speedway fans everywhere will be saddened to learn of the passing of former Poole rider Colin Gooddy at the age of 85.
A former cycle speedway rider, Colin made his speedway debut at Rye House in 1954 and quickly became one of the top riders in the Southern Area League before stepping up into the top flight with Oxford in 1958. Like many juniors he struggled to score points but eventually made his mark at Oxford and then at Exeter, a track which was to become one of his favourites, and Cradley Heath.
Fast approaching the veteran stage it came as a big surprise to many when Poole promoter Charlie Knott jnr brought him to Poole just after the star of the 1974 campaign. Poole were desperately looking to find someone to take the place of Malcolm Ballard who had demanded a move away from the South Coast club, and Colin was on hand to take his place.
Some of the Poole fans voiced their disapproval at his signing saying that the club should have found a younger man, but Colin answered his critics in the best possible way with some attacking racing that soon had the fans singing his praises. His hard and, at times, forceful riding style got him into trouble at times, but it is fair to say that Colin was one of the most popular riders ever to don the famous skull and crossbones racejacket.
“ Mr Knott brought him in as a stop gap rider “ said former Poole team mate and captain Pete Smith “ and we didn’t expect him to stay, but he was a great asset to the team and was keen to share his experience with everyone, especially the younger team members.”
“ He was a hard man to beat and one was one of the last riders to use the British made J.A.P engines at a time when Jawa ,Godden, and Weslake were the makes everyone wanted. I don’t know what he did but he could always get that extra bit from it when he needed it. “
Present day Poole team manager Neil Middleditch also remembered his time as one of Colin’s team mates.
“ He was a tough man both on and off of the track, which sometimes upset the opposition however, he was also one of the most well respected riders in the game at that time. He was very fast from the starts, one of the best and always gave of his best. No wonder the Poole fans loved him.”
“ I raced with him a lot for Poole and was always aware that he wouldn’t stand for any nonsense and wanted to win, sometimes at all costs. He was old school and was never frightened to speak his mind and let you know what he thought.
The start of the 1977 season saw Colin drop down a division to race for Crayford but was called back into the Pirates side following the tragic accident that cost Kevin Holden his life. Once again he answered the call by doing more than make up the numbers by scoring a hatful of points for both clubs.
1978 saw him granted a testimonial for his 25 years of racing, but a back injury which sidelined him at the start of the season and a broken neck, picked up in a second half crash at Poole, brought the curtain down on his career.
While never a star heat leader, Colin was a team man through and through and represented all that the sport was about. The Poole management and riders extend the condolences to his family at this time.
Obituary by Gordon Day
up to and including 27th September