1:22pm Monday 14th May 2012
SWINDON co-owner Gary Patchett has paid tribute to former Robin Lee Richardson.
Richardson, 33, died in Poland after a crash on Sunday and Patchett says he was one of the best riders he has ever worked with.
Writing a column for this Friday’s Lakeside v Swindon programme, in tribute to the rider, Patchett said: “It was an honour and a profound privilege to know and work with Lee Richardson.
"Put simply, he was one of the finest riders that I ever had the opportunity to work alongside and without a shadow of a doubt a man of great professionalism and integrity.
“I had only just got involved with Swindon in 2005 when Rico and Leigh Adams won the Elite League Best Pairs on a damp, misty evening at Peterborough.
"I remember thinking at the time ‘I’ll have some more of this as soon as you like’. He rode with great distinction for the Robins for three seasons and I will always regret never being able to bring him back to ride at Blunsdon. He was always very philosophical though. ‘That’s speedway’, he’d say.
“Lee always gave 100 per cent wherever and for whoever he rode.
"He was an ever present in the Swindon 2007 team that reached the Grand Final against his former club, Coventry. He was regularly the top scoring Brit in Sweden and Poland and rode with great distinction for Team GB.
“My fondest memory of Lee is a personal one. After the 2006 Grand Prix at Parken, Rico, his lovely wife Emma and I went for a drink at a bar close to the stadium.
"I don’t think Lee had a meeting the following day in Poland and was ready to let his hair down a little. "We spent some time chewing the fat and the conversation between the three of us moved onto families.
"For some reason, and I don’t think I will ever know why, I told them both that my parents had decided on my name before I was born and that if I’d been born a girl then I’d have been named Bridget.
"From that day onwards Lee always called me that and those not in on the joke always looked on strangely when they heard it.
“Lee and his wife Emma always looked like a film star couple and had been childhood sweethearts. They have three beautiful sons, Josh, Jake and Jenson. They are great kids and a tribute to their Dad.
"Rest in peace mate. We’re going to miss you.”
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