VOCALISED by the likes of Marvin Gaye, Paul Young and Boyzone, the famous song lyric goes: “Wherever I lay my hat, that’s my home.”

For Benjamin Basso at Poole Pirates, his new hat has certainly made him feel part of the furniture at Wimborne Road.

Brought in by Poole mid-season this year after the departure of Zane Keleher and the travel issues suffered by Ondrej Smetana, the dynamic Dane has wowed fans both off and on track over the past couple of months.

Now known for wearing a cowboy hat with his affable demeanour alongside those in the pits, former world youth champion Basso has become a revelation with the Dorset club’s faithful since his arrival.

Basso hats can be seen around the ground on a race night at Wimborne Road, while the Pirates charger shows his speed on the shale.

But how did it come about that the unique head garment would become such a craze?

Promoter Danny Ford told the Daily Echo: “Since he has come in, he’s been a real breath of fresh air. Hat sales have gone through the roof which is great to see!

“It was quite funny how it came about.

“When he first came over, he was actually staying at my house with me and my missus.

“He was asking for a Pirates hat to wear on race nights and I said ‘mate, I’m really sorry, we have just sold out of caps’. We had some on order.

“In a basket I had by the stairs I just had one of those other hats that I had been wearing in the garden, while I was doing the gardening.

“Ben said ‘oh, can I wear this?’ and I said ‘yeah, go for it mate’.

“He put that on and ever since then it’s been known as the Basso hat. It’s sent sales through the roof – we’ve tried to get some more but they’ve discontinued them, so it’s a bit of a nightmare!

“I have been trying for weeks to get some more, not to make money on them, it’s just a nice thing, you know? It’s a little bit out here and is instantly recognisable now.

“These hats which Ben has taken under his wing, promoted, it’s great to see.

“Speedway is short of characters like him. He’s got a good personality and he’s willing to interact with fans and have a bit of fun with it. The fans have really taken to him, which is brilliant.”

Pirates had to play a waiting game to land their man in Basso, who scored eight paid 11 in the club’s SGB Championship play-off semi-final victory at Leicester last time out.

Issues with his visa, along with then testing positive for coronavirus left Poole a man light for a number of weeks.

But good things come to those who wait, and after a number of guest bookings and rider replacements, Ford has been delighted to see the permanent move pay off.

“We caught a lot of stick when we let Zane go – and we did do it for good reason,” he said.

“I think his results, when he has been a visitor, have reflected what we were kind of seeing and kind of hung true about what we felt about him being at Poole.

“Obviously he has gone to Plymouth and done fantastically there and I’m very happy for him.

“It was a long time coming to get Basso in. We had to go through a massive ordeal in getting his visa, which was very difficult and has been proved by a lack of new foreign riders coming into British speedway – just how difficult it is.

“Then when he was meant to be riding, he caught the virus, which delayed his debut by a couple of weeks. Then he had clashes with Denmark which put everything on hold a little bit.

“He is a real character but it’s not just that, he’s got so much talent and so much speed and I think everyone is seeing his determination. Every ride he goes out and gives it 110 per cent.

“We have been treated to some really brilliant performances by him so far and I think the best is yet to come.

“He’s an exciting rider, a hell of a talent and hopefully he could be a little bit of a star for us.”