DANNY Ford insisted it would be a “special evening” when Pirates fans get the chance to say farewell to legend Bjarne Pedersen – as well as seeing their new-look team on track.

The Danish icon’s final meeting at Wimborne Road will see Championship winners Poole take on Premiership victors Peterborough on Wednesday, March 30.

All seven of Pirates’ 2022 septet will compete during the challenge match on the night, with youngster Nathan Ablitt instead lining up for the Panthers.

British champion Adam Ellis is set to represent the Poole side. Pedersen himself will also complete his final laps of the Dorset club’s circuit.

Ford told the Daily Echo: “It’s going to be a really special evening.

“We have got a lot of things planned for it and it’s quite an unorthodox meeting to see with the champions of both leagues going up against each other.

“It’s something a little bit special and is shaping up to be a good night.”

The legendary Dane won three top-flight league crowns during his time with Pirates.

“Bjarne is an absolute hero down here,” added Ford. “Throughout my childhood he was always a mainstay in the Poole team.

“An absolute Pirates legend – that can’t be understated. He is our second all-time points scorer and led us to numerous championships.

“He has given so much for this club and has been a part of the golden generation of the Pirates.

“We really need to give him the send-off he deserves and, with the line-up we have and added bits we’ve got, it’s shaping up to be a great evening.”

Pirates’ first home meeting as part of the official season begins with a Championship Knockout Cup second leg contest against Plymouth on Wednesday, April 6 – a day after their first leg at Plymouth Coliseum.

Asked whether Pedersen’s farewell also gave his side an opportunity to adjust their track setups for Wimborne Road, Ford replied: “I think that was important for us.

“Ultimately, we are using it as an opportunity as well for our guys to get used to the track. It will be the first competitive meeting of the year for most of them to dust the cobwebs. But all while celebrating a Pirates legend.”