Crowfield: Speedway hero Mark Loram tells of grief at son’s death

FORMER speedway champion Mark Loram has paid tribute to his 18-year-old son who was killed in a road accident.

Rhys Loram died when he was in collision with a van on Tuesday afternoon in Crowfield, near Ipswich.

The teenager, who lived in the village, had been walking along Gosbeck Road, near the Evergreen garage, when the accident happened.

He was the son of former Ipswich Witches speedway star Mark Loram and worked at the motor dealership and garage his father runs in Hemingstone.

Mr Loram, 40, said: “On Tuesday I was so proud and complete, by Wednesday my life had been turned upside down and felt so cold and empty.”

Rhys’s mother, Joanne, also paid an emotional tribute to her son.

“My boys have been my world, they are my life. For them I live each day. There is so much of you in your brother Haydn that I will never be without you. I love you rocket,” she said.

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The family, which includes Rhys’s uncle Chris Louis and grandfather John Louis, who were both stars of the speedway track and who now co-promote the Ipswich team, released a statement expressing their gratitude to everyone who had shown their support.

“Rhys’s passing has left an empty space in all our lives,” the statement reads.

“Rhys had found his direction in life and matured into a fun-loving, caring lad who was everyone’s best friend and would always give his time to anyone who needed it.

“The communal outpouring of love from his many friends has been such a comfort to us all. Through pain and tears they have given us something so beautiful.”

Former Debenham High School pupil Rhys had been a keen moto-cross rider who also had some experience of speedway racing.

Mark Loram had a distinguished career in speedway spanning more than 20 years, representing clubs in Britain, Poland and Sweden.

He rode for his hometown Ipswich Witches in 1989 and returned for a spell from 2006 to 2009. His finest hour was being crowned World Champion in 2000.

Police are appealing for anyone who may have been in the area at the time of the crash to come forward.

Anyone with information should call the Serious Collision Investigation Team at Suffolk Police Headquarters on 101.