Barack Obama leads tributes to race ace Lee

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THE FAMILY of speedway legend Lee “Rico” Richardson have been touched by the thousands of messages of support from fans across the world including US President Barack Obama.

Lee died following a horrific accident in Poland while competing in a league meeting earlier this month.

His devastated mother Julie Bowles and brother Craig Richardson flew out to Poland last week to bring his body home.

A private funeral service will be held at Hastings Crematorium this Thursday (June 7) followed by a memorial service for fans at Arlington Stadium in Hailsham, the home of Eastbourne Eagles.

Hundreads of fans from across Europe are expected to attend the trackside memorial to pay their last respects to the man many regarded as the best of a generation.

Some fans are expected to line up outside the Crematorium to show their support for one of the finest sporting sons St Leonards has ever produced.

Among the thousands of tweets made to #rico, is one from the leader of the United States of America.

Thousands of pounds has already been donated to a trust fund set up for Lee’s three boys Josh, nine, Jake, five and two year-old Jenson.

Memorial services have been held at most of the club tracks where Lee raced including Lakeside Hammers in Essex where he was captain.

A memorial service will be held at the club on September 28 which is expected to attract hundreds of fans and well-wishers.

Speaking from her home in Harley Shute Road, Julie said: “We have been overwhelmed by the messages of support and condolence.

“We are expecting hundreds of fans to come over from Poland next week for the services.

“Emma has a big sack of mail with hundreds of envelopes in that she just hasn’t had time to open.

“There has been so many tweets we have lost count. Lee’s brother Craig said he saw one from Barack Obama which we just could not believe. We just can not thank people enough for their generosity.

“Lee set up a trust fund for the boys because he did not want his lads to have to ride bikes like him to make a living.

“He used to say ‘I want to give them a better chance in life so they don’t have to do what I did.”

The memorial service at Arlington starts at 3.30pm.