(UPDATE) Poole Pirates: Former world champion Peter Collins leads tributes to Malcolm Simmons

PIRATES LEGEND: The late Malcolm Simmons, who died yesterday

PIRATES LEGEND: The late Malcolm Simmons, who died yesterday

First published in Sport
Last updated
Bournemouth Echo: Photograph of the Author by

FORMER world champion Peter Collins has led the tributes to Pirates legend Malcolm Simmons, who died yesterday, aged 68.

Super Simmo, as he was affectionately known by the Wimborne Road faithful, had been suffering from emphysema and passed away in a hospice near his Kent home.

Runner-up to Collins in the 1976 world final in Poland, Simmons was recognised as Mr Poole Speedway during his six years with the club between 1975 and 1980.

He partnered Collins when they lifted the world pairs crown in 1977, while the duo helped England to a hat-trick of world team cup titles in 1974, 1975 and 1977.

Speaking to the Daily Echo, Collins said: “I knew he had been struggling for a few years and was disappointed not to get the chance to speak to him again. I rang on Sunday morning but he was in and out of consciousness. I was deeply saddened to learn he had passed away.

“He was a good mate and a big part of what we did for England. He was reaching his peak at the same time as me so he was one of my greatest rivals individually and the fact he finished second to me in the world final was testament to that.

“At the time, I remember him saying it was almost what he had wanted but not quite. Unfortunately, I was the one to deprive him of his world championship.

“Like everybody else, he had a few faults, but I always got on very well with him and we never had a cross word.

“He was a fantastic competitor, a great rival and a wonderful team-mate. We did big things for England and our greatest achievements together were winning the world pairs and the world team cup on two occasions. Those trips to Poland were a massive part of our lives.”

Simmons made 205 league and cup appearances for Poole, amassing 2,148 points. He also won the club’s prestigious Blue Riband on no fewer than four occasions, a record which still stands and is unlikely to be equalled or beaten.

Pirates team boss Neil Middleditch, who rode with Simmons, told the Daily Echo: “Everybody looked up to him and he was an absolute class act. He was always immaculately turned out and was the ultimate professional. Everybody is like that now but, at the time, he was head and shoulders above a lot of other riders.

“He certainly set a trend. He was always very smart, both on and off the track, and was a credit to the sport. I spent a lot of time with him and we were great friends. It is a great shame to lose him.

“In that era, you would drive round Poole and see Super Simmo car stickers everywhere. He was that much of an icon in this area. Although Poole weren’t doing too well as a team, individually he was tremendous. He had his brushes with authorities, on and off the track, but he said it as it was. Some of the things he said perhaps upset a few people but he told the truth and that was Malcolm.”

Comments (21)

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11:52pm Sun 25 May 14

wotsupdoc says...

RIP Simmo ! I was at Coventry for that 1976 British Final, even though I was only 10 it remains one of those childhood memories I'll never forget. Thanks for all the great memories. Super Simmo, Superstar! x
RIP Simmo ! I was at Coventry for that 1976 British Final, even though I was only 10 it remains one of those childhood memories I'll never forget. Thanks for all the great memories. Super Simmo, Superstar! x wotsupdoc
  • Score: 31

12:51am Mon 26 May 14

N Smith says...

My first sporting hero ,a true British speedway great and probably the best ever rider never to win the World individual crown.RIP Super Simmo you gave me some great memories .
My first sporting hero ,a true British speedway great and probably the best ever rider never to win the World individual crown.RIP Super Simmo you gave me some great memories . N Smith
  • Score: 31

7:29am Mon 26 May 14

live-and-let-live says...

my hero. RIP lovely Malcolm.
my hero. RIP lovely Malcolm. live-and-let-live
  • Score: 19

8:35am Mon 26 May 14

60's cherries fan says...

RIP my SIM, proud to have met you and chatted at Wimbledon years ago
RIP my SIM, proud to have met you and chatted at Wimbledon years ago 60's cherries fan
  • Score: 17

10:56am Mon 26 May 14

perthsteve says...

remember seeing you come runner up to peter collins in poland in 1976, in the world finals, how i was willing you to win.
thanks for the memories, it was a life time ago now.
remember seeing you come runner up to peter collins in poland in 1976, in the world finals, how i was willing you to win. thanks for the memories, it was a life time ago now. perthsteve
  • Score: 14

12:28pm Mon 26 May 14

bourne free says...

Great memories / Thanks Simmo .
Great memories / Thanks Simmo . bourne free
  • Score: 13

12:43pm Mon 26 May 14

keith milton says...

"Super" Simmo. Never has a nickname been so apt.
A great rider and a thoroughly nice bloke. Simmo always seemed to be able to combine a strong desire to win with a great sense of fun. We shall not see the like of him again.RIP simmo
"Super" Simmo. Never has a nickname been so apt. A great rider and a thoroughly nice bloke. Simmo always seemed to be able to combine a strong desire to win with a great sense of fun. We shall not see the like of him again.RIP simmo keith milton
  • Score: 20

3:15pm Mon 26 May 14

canfordcherry says...

A great shame for the sport in general, not only Poole.
He was the main reason I became a Pirates fan when my dad took me as a 10 year old all those years ago. Absolutely superb rider and a great person off the track. Where do the years go?
R.I.P. SUPER SIMMO!
A great shame for the sport in general, not only Poole. He was the main reason I became a Pirates fan when my dad took me as a 10 year old all those years ago. Absolutely superb rider and a great person off the track. Where do the years go? R.I.P. SUPER SIMMO! canfordcherry
  • Score: 13

4:20pm Mon 26 May 14

holdinkæft says...

Great rider, its just a pity the echo couldnt print a photo.
some memories for you.
https://www.youtube.
com/watch?v=xtiqY82K
4IE
RIP Simmo
Great rider, its just a pity the echo couldnt print a photo. some memories for you. https://www.youtube. com/watch?v=xtiqY82K 4IE RIP Simmo holdinkæft
  • Score: 6

4:28pm Mon 26 May 14

cromwell9 says...

A fantastic speedway rider,He and Peter Collins were my hero:s.
We had some great times watching Super Simmo at Home and away.
R I P .
A fantastic speedway rider,He and Peter Collins were my hero:s. We had some great times watching Super Simmo at Home and away. R I P . cromwell9
  • Score: 12

5:25pm Mon 26 May 14

N Smith says...

Never forget the golden helmet race when Collins fell,Simmo could of carried on but he didn't.He instead stopped turned round and picked Peter up on the back of his bike and had a re run .True sportsmanship.
Never forget the golden helmet race when Collins fell,Simmo could of carried on but he didn't.He instead stopped turned round and picked Peter up on the back of his bike and had a re run .True sportsmanship. N Smith
  • Score: 19

8:51pm Mon 26 May 14

M Tiller says...

M Tiller says
What a true legend, as a teenager myself and my mate R Spiers used to walk from west howe and back just to watch this guy. biggest memory was race off with Ollie Olsen in Blue Riband neck and neck for four laps and Simmo win, never felt so over joyed. A real class act and hero and a special part of my life has now gone. My hero r.i.p. simply the best.SUPER SIMMO
M Tiller says What a true legend, as a teenager myself and my mate R Spiers used to walk from west howe and back just to watch this guy. biggest memory was race off with Ollie Olsen in Blue Riband neck and neck for four laps and Simmo win, never felt so over joyed. A real class act and hero and a special part of my life has now gone. My hero r.i.p. simply the best.SUPER SIMMO M Tiller
  • Score: 5

9:27pm Mon 26 May 14

carolineruss1@hotmail.co.uk says...

I was such a great fan of Simmo that I named my first son after him.My heart goes out to your family.RIP SIMMO Will always remember you god bless
I was such a great fan of Simmo that I named my first son after him.My heart goes out to your family.RIP SIMMO Will always remember you god bless carolineruss1@hotmail.co.uk
  • Score: 4

11:39pm Mon 26 May 14

keith milton says...

martin tiller and rob spiers,fellow oakmead boys,,
martin tiller and rob spiers,fellow oakmead boys,, keith milton
  • Score: 0

11:53pm Mon 26 May 14

Mr G_SCS says...

Super Simo! I remember as a young lad going to watch him & Neil race.

God bless, top man
Super Simo! I remember as a young lad going to watch him & Neil race. God bless, top man Mr G_SCS
  • Score: 2

9:45am Tue 27 May 14

Dave Lynes says...

Super Simmo was the most stylish rider Poole have ever had I remember taking my then to be wife up to Wimbledon to see him win the Wills international and then few das later the British final at Coventry. Happy days. RIP
Super Simmo was the most stylish rider Poole have ever had I remember taking my then to be wife up to Wimbledon to see him win the Wills international and then few das later the British final at Coventry. Happy days. RIP Dave Lynes
  • Score: 0

6:22pm Tue 27 May 14

davecook says...

Simmo was a legend in his lifetime, the only time I ever spoke to him was actually at a Wimborne Whoppa grass track race back in the 70's when he won the title. Needless to say, getting his autograph on the brochure made my day. Simmo must have been the greatest rider never to be world speedway champion. RIP, and thanks for so many happy memories.
Simmo was a legend in his lifetime, the only time I ever spoke to him was actually at a Wimborne Whoppa grass track race back in the 70's when he won the title. Needless to say, getting his autograph on the brochure made my day. Simmo must have been the greatest rider never to be world speedway champion. RIP, and thanks for so many happy memories. davecook
  • Score: 0

7:21pm Tue 27 May 14

holdinkæft says...

holdinkæft wrote:
Great rider, its just a pity the echo couldnt print a photo.
some memories for you.
https://www.youtube.

com/watch?v=xtiqY82K

4IE
RIP Simmo
Thanks for the photo,
great rider, and a good man. used to see him at Matchams for the scrambling, always wanting to try a bike
look at his smile thats how he was..
[quote][p][bold]holdinkæft[/bold] wrote: Great rider, its just a pity the echo couldnt print a photo. some memories for you. https://www.youtube. com/watch?v=xtiqY82K 4IE RIP Simmo[/p][/quote]Thanks for the photo, great rider, and a good man. used to see him at Matchams for the scrambling, always wanting to try a bike look at his smile thats how he was.. holdinkæft
  • Score: 0

9:40pm Tue 27 May 14

jayphotofinish says...

Class act, set standards, never followed. Special treat on my occasional trips to Poole in the late '70's with my School pals to see the Gulf Oil British League 'pirates. The white line master who's jet propelled gating rarely let him down. Super Simmo as read on those car Windscreen visa's said it all. You like me singing from the same hymn book regarding the sad state of British Speedway these days. You were a Golden boy from the Golden era..... Thanks for the memories that I will cherish for ever.
Jay Eastwood -PhotoFinish/Indigo Images.
Class act, set standards, never followed. Special treat on my occasional trips to Poole in the late '70's with my School pals to see the Gulf Oil British League 'pirates. The white line master who's jet propelled gating rarely let him down. Super Simmo as read on those car Windscreen visa's said it all. You like me singing from the same hymn book regarding the sad state of British Speedway these days. You were a Golden boy from the Golden era..... Thanks for the memories that I will cherish for ever. Jay Eastwood -PhotoFinish/Indigo Images. jayphotofinish
  • Score: 0

11:39pm Tue 27 May 14

M Tiller says...

I know it was only printed in yesterdays paper about Simmo's departure from us but very surprised about the few (hopefully more) memories of this local hero. Ted Mac for the Cherries, Terry Paine for our friendly neighbours, SIMMO for Poole Pirates.
Chorus of Simmo Simmo needs to be chanted around Wimbourne Rd like it use to be.
I know it was only printed in yesterdays paper about Simmo's departure from us but very surprised about the few (hopefully more) memories of this local hero. Ted Mac for the Cherries, Terry Paine for our friendly neighbours, SIMMO for Poole Pirates. Chorus of Simmo Simmo needs to be chanted around Wimbourne Rd like it use to be. M Tiller
  • Score: 0

7:10pm Mon 2 Jun 14

shattellpook says...

Simmo was brilliant, had a long chat with him a few years back at Beaulieu where he did some demonstration rides with Ove Fundin and the two of them were blasting round the grass circuit like teenagers, got some great photos, also remember him & PC having a go on some motor X bikes at Wimbledon in the 70s great times RIP Simmo you will be sorely missed
Simmo was brilliant, had a long chat with him a few years back at Beaulieu where he did some demonstration rides with Ove Fundin and the two of them were blasting round the grass circuit like teenagers, got some great photos, also remember him & PC having a go on some motor X bikes at Wimbledon in the 70s great times RIP Simmo you will be sorely missed shattellpook
  • Score: 0

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