POOLE Speedway have paid tribute to iconic commentator, presenter and journalist Nigel Pearson, who has died at the age of 52.

British Speedway on Friday announced the death of the legendary commentator – a huge servant to the sport and the voice of many of Pirates’ vintage televised moments.

A statement from British Speedway said: “It is with the deepest sadness and regret that we announce the passing of much-loved sport commentator, presenter and journalist, Nigel Pearson, aged 52, earlier today.

“We ask everyone to fully respect Nigel’s family’s privacy at this time.

“All of our thoughts and love go to his wife Kerrie, daughter Sarah and sons Liam and Jake. A fuller tribute to Nigel will follow.”

Via their official Twitter page, Pirates posted: “Poole Speedway are saddened to learn of the tragic passing of Nigel Pearson.

“We pass on the condolences of the management, riders, sponsors and supporters to Nigel's family who are in our prayers.”

A minute’s silence was held at Wimborne Road ahead of Poole’s SGB Championship meeting at home with Oxford.

Master of ceremonies Nigel Leahy also paid tribute to Pearson. He said: “His loss will send a shockwave right through this sport. I don’t think any of us have quite come to terms with what this will mean.

“It is only fitting that we pay tribute to a man tonight, who has given so much – he was a huge speedway fan himself.

“He has given so much to the sport over the years, I cannot tell you how much we will miss him.

“He was the voice of speedway in recent years.”