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For probably, the first time ever, the World Speedway Riders’ Association’s incoming President was unable to take his seat at the Top Table. Geoff Pymar, who was our elected President for 2002/03 died in hospital just two weeks before the Dinner.

The committee were unanimous that Geoff should still be President, despite his illness and prior to the Dinner, Archie Windmill, Reg Fearman and their partners visited Geoff along with Pam and Trevor Hedge and gave him his chain of office and although very poorly and weak Geoff was absolutely thrilled and as he said, deeply honoured, to be President.

To honour our now posthumous President an empty chair was left along with his Chain of Office and a photo of Geoff in action to mark the place at the Top Table where he would have sat.

Geoff started racing in 1930 at Norwich Stars and raced for Wimbledon Dons from 1933 to 1939. He first raced for England in Australia in 1933/4 and made five trips to Australia in total.

He raced for England on many occasions, the last being at Bristol in 1953. He won three Gold Medals at Wimbledon, won the Cundy Trophy at West Ham in 1947 and the Silver Lining Trophy at New Cross.

Among the teams that Geoff raced for were Wimbledon Dons, Bristol Bulldogs, New Cross Rangers, Harringay Racers and Bradford . He rode in the forerunner to the World Championship, The Star Championship at Wembley in 1935 and he also rode in the World Speedway Championship Finals at Wembley in 1938 and 1947.

Cyril J Hart writes (before Geoff’s death) in the Spring edition of the Associations magazine Opposite Lock - It seems a long time ago now, perhaps not unnaturally because it is a long time ago, that I spent a good deal of my time at Wimbledon’s Plough Lane Stadium.

It really is an age ago now that our new President was always in fine track action with his partner - I seem to remember that that was usually Eric Collins - and now we are looking forward to welcoming Geoff Pymar to join the exalted ranks of the VSRA Presidency.

Understandable, due to his age, Geoff no longer gets around under his own steam, “I need to cadge a lift” he said, “but I am anxious to get to as many VSRA gatherings as I can in my Presidential year”

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Geoff Pymar