Week Ending October 25

GARY PETERSON’s tragic death at Monmore Green the previous Friday was the leading story this week. The popular 27-year-old appeared to lose control while challenging Alan Grahame for second place in heat 11 of a Midland Cup match against Oxford. He was catapulted into a floodlight pilon. Artificial respiration was administered on the track and an ambulance was brought out but the New Zealand international was dead on arrival at hospital.

News of Gary’s death reached the stadium just after the end of the match and the Second Half was immediately abandoned. The shocked crowd left the stadium quickly, as requested by the management. Fellow riders were grieved by the news and team-mate Ole Olsen withdrew from the British League Riders’ Championship. Compatriot and friend Ivan Mauger donated his earnings from the BLRC event to the Peterson family. The Speedway Control Board set up an enquiry into the accident.

THE FAVRE-LEUBA LAURELS at Plough Lane this week would see the final speedway appearance of former World Champion and racing superstar Barry Briggs. ‘Briggo’ was apparently sticking to his decision to retire from British League racing at the end of the 1975 season. He told Speedway Star, somewhat enigmatically, ‘I’ll still do some meetings on the Continent, and the World Champions series, of course, but whether I ride in England again remains to be seen.’ He had already won Wimbledon’s famous ‘Laurels’ four times during his 24 years in British speedway, in 1961, 1963, 1965 and 1968, and was hoping to bring the curtain down on his career with a fifth victory.

In the event, Briggs could manage only nine points but the winner of the trophy was Wimbledon’s new heartthrob, Tommy Jansson, who never looked like being beaten. The young Swede blistered around the South London circuit to record five untroubled heat wins.

BIRMINGHAM ended up as winners of the New National League ahead of Newcastle and Stoke. Actually the Brummies were retaining their title but, in the previous season, they had been crowned British League Division Two Champions. Now they were New National League Champions. It was a case of out with the old, in with the… old.

On the Speedway Star cover this week:

FRONT: Ivan Mauger leading Malcolm Simmons in the World Final at Wembley, with Tommy Jansson on the outside and Ray Wilson partly hidden

BACK: Cradley united’s Bruce Cribb

Speedway Fiction

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Speedway Fiction

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Great stories for speedway fans!

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Speedway Headlines 1975

Speedway Fiction

Speedway like it used to be!

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