IT is with great sadness that we report the passing of former Coventry rider Roman Matousek.
Roman, who was 55, rode for the Bees between 1989 and 1991 and the Czech star was a real fans' favourite due to his take-no-prisoners racing style.
His time with the club was during a period where on-track success was limited, with the Bees struggling in the absence of injured talisman Tommy Knudsen for much of that time.
But Roman helped spark an upturn in fortunes when he joined the club, with his official debut coming on July 22, 1989 in a match against King's Lynn.
Travel issues, though, meant his first 'real' on-track appearance was the following week when he scored 5+2 in a win over Bradford, and he quickly settled down into the Bees' middle-order.
He was then a regular member of the side for the next two seasons, and was one of three Coventry riders to appear in the 1990 World Final at Bradford along with Kelvin Tatum and Rick Miller.
Statistically 1991 was his best season for the Bees, and there was always a feeling that with better equipment maintenance he could well have developed into a genuine heat-leader at Division One level.
As it was, Bees opted for a major team re-structure for 1992 which didn't include Roman, and he went on to enjoy a solid four-season stint with Sheffield, scoring heavily for the Tigers in Division Two and staying with the Owlerton side to race in the all-in-one Premier League.
That meant his final appearance at Brandon was for the Tigers on August 10, 1996. He scored three points from three rides in what proved to be one of the Bees' biggest wins of all-time as they demolished the visitors 73-20.
Roman's signing for Coventry was, at the time, a somewhat unorthodox one based on team-building strategies of the previous years, but there's no doubt he did the job he was brought into do, and added real excitement with it.
Our sympathies go out to his family and friends, and we have fond memories of his time in our colours.