Dream Team : Frank Chalmers
I first went to Wimborne road in the early seventies (probably 1972). I've been fortunate to see hundreds of great riders but the following seven will always stand out for me.
A hero to many at Poole. He was simply brilliant and the fact he's still racing now shows how much class he has. He joined us in 1975 from King's Lynn and was our number one every season until he left at the end of 1980.
Our current team manager and also manager of England. It's as a rider I remember him best. He raced for us for over ten years and was always a reliable second string. A look at the record books shows me his best year was 1978 when he averaged over 7.5.
He gave us two brilliant years of service and provided entertainment in virtually all his races. Seeing him crowned World Champion in 2000 was a great moment. It's a pity that he's had such a poor season this year, hopefully he'll bounce back.
An excellent servant to the Pirates. He was at his best in the National League days, at the time he was probably the best rider in the league. He moved onto Hackney but returned in 1991 and proved he could hold his own against the world's best. Sadly his career was ended by a nasty crash.
Another rider who gave us years of good service. He was our number one for the best part of a decade and it seemed he would see his career out with us. Sadly a loss of form saw him move on and he's never quite recaptured his best form. He's not had a bad career though and he was in a run-off for the 1994 World Title. Had he won that race then perhaps things would have panned out differently. An excellent rider and a great Pirate.
Included to provide some comic relief. Alun is one of the sport's real characters and is always good for a laugh. He's never been a star rider but he's ridden for England and beaten most of the top stars at one time or another. I've lost track of how many times he's ridden for Poole but he's never let us down.
Not a bad rider to have at number seven !. He's an awesome rider who's easily the best in the world. Such a friendly guy as well and a brilliant ambassador for the Pirates and the sport. He's agreed to stay with us for 2002 and that gives us a tremendous starting point for the team. If he does as well next season I may even promote him from reserve !.
This article was first published prior to October 2002
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