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COLIN PRATT JOINS NEW HALL OF FAME

BRITISH Speedway have launched their very own Hall of Fame – and former England boss Colin Pratt is the first inductee.

Pratt has done almost everything in the sport as a rider, promoter, manager – and even a referee.

British Speedway Promoters Ltd will also be announcing the second member in the near future before opening up to nominations from the general public.

Pratt was handed his framed race jacket at his Norfolk home by his former bitter rival Chris Van Straaten.

When he was in charge of both Coventry and Cradley Heath, Pratt was Van Straaten’s arch enemy at Wolverhampton.

And Pratt said: “It was a very pleasant surprise, I am proud and honoured to be the first inductee, it means a lot to me.

“I would like to thank Chris, a man I’ve done battle with many times down the years in the great days of the West Midlands rivalry, for making the presentation and it will be going up on my wall at the first opportunity.

“It’s nice for what I have done in speedway to be recognised like this. I’ve ridden in major meetings, I’ve won trophies as a promoter and manager and I even made an appearance as a referee once when Graham Brodie couldn’t make it and I excluded Dave Jessup!

“I’ve got so many great stories and memories from my career, I’m very proud of what I’ve done and my thanks to the British Speedway Board for recognising my career. The Hall of Fame is a great idea.”

Van Straaten, meanwhile, said: “I was very proud to be the person to make this presentation to Colin.

“We’ve had our moments as opposing promoters down the years and there have been times where it’s been a couple of days before we’ve spoken again, but we always kept up massive respect for each other.

“Colin has always had one over me because when I was a supporter on the Cradley terraces he was riding and he later discovered that my girlfriend, who became my wife, wore a Colin Pratt rosette!”