TRIBUTES have flooded in for “irreplaceable” Poole Pirates stalwart Gordon Day.

Mr Day, who had been a long-term club servant of the Wimborne Road speedway outfit, passed away on Thursday following a short non-coronavirus related illness.

Pirates club owner Matt Ford offered condolences to Mr Day’s widow Barbara and his extended family.

Mr Ford said: “Gordon was the first person who knew that was I intending to purchase the club, we used to work together on certain things when, as a sponsor, I was helping riders and I made the sincere commitment to Gordon that he would be an integral member of the backroom staff that all clubs need once I had bought it.

“I truly believe that in Gordon we had something extremely unique. I don’t think there could be anyone who had such an extensive history of the club. Mike Golding and I appointed Gordon as club statistician and more latterly club historian but his involvement with Poole Speedway goes well beyond that.

“He managed our PR for a number of seasons and was a superb ambassador for the club, especially on our press and practice days. I genuinely feel that Gordon is irreplaceable and the sad fact is that there will be parts of our club history that we may never now realise. Gordon will have taken so much information with him. I extend my sympathies to Barbara at this extremely sad time.”

Born in 1944, he went to his first speedway meeting in 1950. While his father had to take him home at half-time as he was frightened of the noise, he soon fell in love with speedway and went on to become a dedicated member of the Pirates operation.

Tributes also poured in from Pirates riders past and present and supporters, who experienced Mr Day’s kindness first hand.

Pirates team manager Neil Middleditch said: “I have known Gordon practically all of my life and he was Mr Poole Speedway.

“People always phoned me and asked about Poole Speedway. I would tell them to phone Gordon Day, he was the oracle, he knew everything about Poole Speedway.

“His heart and soul was Poole Speedway. What he didn’t know about Poole Speedway wasn’t worth writing about.”

Alongside his love for his family and speedway, Mr Day, a former cycle speedway rider, had an extensive range of interests, with music and gardening high on the list. It has been announced that a tree will be planted in his memory.

Mr Day’s family said that due to current circumstances the funeral service will be a totally private affair but they do intend to hold a celebration of his life at a later date.