PIRATES owner Matt Ford admitted he almost quit speedway back in 2015 following Darcy Ward’s career-ending crash.

Club icon Ward crashed in Poland in August 2015 and suffered serious life-changing injuries which rocked the Wimborne Road outfit to the core.

Prior to the accident, the Australian international had been widely regarded as a future world champion, his enforced retirement leaving Poole without the most potent weapon in their asset base.

But Poole raced on and dedicated their 2015 championship glory to Ward. The club are this week reliving the title triumph via their social media platforms.

Owner Ford said: “When I took the phone call on that dark night in August 2015, I instantly felt that I was done with speedway.

“When you see someone you are so close to have their dreams and ambitions shattered at such a young age, it provokes all sorts of questions and I can honestly say that speedway is not the same without Darcy.

“The guy just oozed talent and, if there was any justice in this world, would be out there now winning world titles.

“I was prepared to end the season immediately, the chance of a hat-trick of titles meant nothing to me at that moment."