Our original Headlining Speedway page looked at the Evening News from Saturday, September 27, 1957. Six years later, London’s principal evening paper - bigger than the Standard in those days - still produced an impressive souvenir edition to mark another speedway World Final at the Empire Stadium, Wembley.

We invite you once more to scroll down and see again the stories you could have picked up that night for 3d from any news vendor in the capital.

Another                        souvenir special - this time for the Wembley World Final of 1963

Headlining Speedway

3 Evening News

It was a Swedish one-two on this occasion. Ove Fundin won the fourth of his five World titles, scoring 14 points - just one point ahead of his fellow countryman Björn Knutsson.

Third place on the rostrum went to Barry Briggs, who would win the championship himself twice more in 1964 1nd 1966.

In these pictures, Fundin is presented with his trophy and the winner’s laurels by popular comedy actor Charlie Drake.

Sweden’s Big night

Six years earlier, in 1957, the Wembley World Championship was broadcast live by the BBC in the peak 9pm Saturday night slot.

By 1963, things had changed. ITV was showing the Morecambe and Wise show whilst, on BBC television, it was the Last Night of the Proms. Perhaps it wasn’t a great idea for the World Final to clash with that!

No longer live TV

BRITISH hopes rested on the diminutive Peter Craven, the reigning World Champion who aimed to become the first Englishman to win the title three times. Sadly, it was not to be. Craven finished in tenth place with six points after winning his first race. Six days later, he was injured in a track accident at Edinburgh’s Meadowbank Stadium and died in hospital on Tuesday, September 24.

Iron Curtain rider just misses out on podium place

THE SOVIET UNION’s star rider, Boris Samorodov, a handsome 31-year-old truck driver was the second Russian to qualify for a Wembley Final in two years. He impressed those watching the practice sessions but the Evening News reporter Harry Done suggested, ‘It will be a major surprise if he finishes in the first four.’

That, however, is exactly what the young man from the USSR did. He just missed out on a podium place, scoring 11 points - only one point behind Barry Briggs. His total included three heat wins.

Like his compatriot, Igor Plechanov, Samorodov lived in Ufa and, the previous year had become Russian Speedway Champion. During the winter, he had won the FIM Cup for ice racing, effectively the world championship in that sport.

tonight. “I have arranged for a Swedish doctor to give me these injections in the pits whenever needed,” said 30-year-old Fundin, who rides with two broken bones in his right foot and a badly bruised collar-bone. Victory for the flying Swede would be the greatest triumph of his dynamic career for it was follwing another serious leg injury that he lost his title to Peter Craven last year.

Riding through the pain barrier

Then double World Champion Barry Briggs pictured at Wimbledon during practice with his wife June and their children Gary and Tony

A souvenir back page with pen portraits of all the finalists

Click the image for a larger view

The souvenir back page contained details about all 16 of the Wembley finalists. The table below shows who they were, together with their final positions and points totals.


Position

Name

Country

Points

1

Ove Fundin

Sweden

14

2

Björn Knutsson

Sweden

13

3

Barry Briggs

New Zealand

12

4

Boris Samorodov

USSR

11

5

Göte Nordin

Sweden

10

6

Sverre Harrfeldt

Norway

10

7

Nigel Boocock

England

8

8

Leo McAuliffe

Wales

7

9

Ron How

England

7

10

Peter Craven

England

6

11

Peter Moore

Australia

6

12

Per Olof Söderman

Sweden

5

13

Dick Fisher

England

5

14

Jim Lightfoot

England

4

15

Per Tage Svensson

Sweden

1

16

Arne Carlsson

Sweden

1

A scene from the practice session showing Bjön Knutsson, Sverre Harrfeldt and Göte Nordin

The Empire Stadium, Wembley during the 1960s

Reporter Harry Done revealed, ‘Ove Fundin, the only man to win the world crown three times, will be given pain-killing injections when he attempts to regain the title in what may prove his last Wembley final

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