A tribute to Colin Pratt by Tony Hurren
All at Hackney Speedway are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Colin Pratt at the age of 82. He was a man who devoted the vast majority of his life to the sport we all love. He died peacefully after battling illness for a year. He was the WSR president in 2012.
Despite his failing health, Colin always put on a brave face and until recently, he was pleased to receive visits from many of his speedway friends at his King's Lynn residence.Colin Pratt put far more back into speedway than hetook out of it. His riding career stretched from 1957 when he was cutting his teeth as a junior at Rye House to Cradley Heath in 1970, when his career was cut short by the mini-bus Lokeren road crash, where Colin was seriously injured.
His riding career will be best remembered for the six seasons he spent as Hackney's captain between 1964 and 1969 where in each season he topped The Hawks' score chart.
When Colin's riding career was over he didn't walk away from speedway and had countless successful seasons as a promoter and team manager at domestic level; and joint manager with Eric Boocock of the Great Britain team that won the World Team Cup in 1989.
In his role as a team manager he led his clubs to a combined total of a dozen league titles and knockout cup successes. He was at ease with both junior riders and World Champions.
Colin served on the British Speedway Promoters' Association management committee for many seasons. He also played an ambassadorial role as a trustee and committee member of the World Speedway Riders' Association. During his time in office he was able to create a strong and friendly link between the BSPA and the WSRA.
All at ‘The Wick send their sincere condolences to Colin's family. RIP dear friend. It was a privilege to have known you.
Leading the 1969 Hackney team (left to right) Jack Biggs, Graeme Smith, Des Lukehurst, Dave Erskine team manager, Les McGillivray, Jimmy Gooch and Tommy Sweetman