16th Dec, 2017

Oakes recalls Bees' glory days

SPEEDWAY: PETER Oakes has paid tribute to his long-term friend Colin Pratt during a week that marks the tenth anniversary of Bees’ treble winning squad.

Pratt has been associated with Coventry for many years having been team manager or co-team manager between 1998 and 2012.

Oakes said: “Colin has had the biggest contribution of all with the Bees, he did all the hard work behind the scenes to make Coventry a successful and professionally run club.

“You can’t ignore his knowledge and experience, what he gives you is he is absolutely straight down the middle honest and tell you if he does not think you are doing the right thing, but equally he will never go behind your back, he is up front and loyal.

“You have true friends that you would trust with your life and Colin is certainly one of those, everything is done to the letter, he ensured that riders knew where they were riding, ensured that they got paid and always did things by the rules.

“You can’t buy experience and I have done a lot of work with Barry Briggs, he would say you not only learn from your mistakes but you learn from other people. If there would have been a world championship for administrators, Colin would have won half-a-dozen world finals.

“Anyone today could look at Colin and learn from him, of course you have to change with the times but you have still got to have that foundation that he gives you.

“One of the hardest things about running a business is when you are losing money, sometimes you do things you certainly would not do if you are making money but everyone should have a Colin simple as that.

“Without him it certainly would not have happened which really does make it a shame, but we do hope that the club are able to get back either at Brandon or somewhere else in Coventry.”

Picture: Chris Simpson. 

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