Headlining Speedway

4 SpeedwayFiction Speedway like it used to be! Home London’s Evening News produced this speedway special for the Wembley World Final of 1962, won by England’s Peter Craven

Position

Name

Country

Points

1

Peter Craven

England

14

2

Barry Briggs

New Zealand

13

3

Ove Findin

Sweden

10

4

Björn Knutsson

Sweden

10

5

Ronnie Moore

New Zealand

9

6

Bob Andrews

England

9

7

Ken McKinlay

Scotland

9

8

Göte Nordin

Sweden

9

9

Sören Sjösten

Sweden

8

10

Igor Plechanov

USSR

7

11

Rune Sörmander

Sweden

7

12

Ron Howe

England

6

13

Arne Carlsson

Sweden

3

14

Pawel Waloszek

Poland

2

15

Mike Broadbank

England

2

16

Ron Mountford

England

2

How they scored The Headline Story: Swedish Ace Is So Worried…

OVE FUNDIN, generally considered the greatest speedway rider of all time, faces the most tremendous ordeal of his career in the World Championship final at Wembley tonight.

The flying Swede – winner of the title in 1956, 1960 and last year and second in 1957, 1958 and 1959 – would normally be considered a certainty to capture the championship for the fourth time.

But two weeks ago Fundin crashed into the safety fence at Norwich and has been out of action ever since. He chipped a knee-bone and tore ligaments in his leg and though he is determined to compete, no one knows how he will fare.

Will his confidence be affected by the crash? Can he beat the top riders of the world without practice? Will his leg crack up under pressure?

Fundin himself is not too happy for despite his great record he has only a slight edge over his leading rivals even when 100 percent fit.


Incentive

His misfortune could let in one of the top home riders – Ronnie Moore (Wimbledon), Barry Briggs (Southampton) or Peter Craven (Belle Vue).

Moore has perhaps the most incentive. He has taken part in ten previous world finals and has won the championship twice, but this will be his last appearance.

He is retiring at the end of the season and returning to his native New Zealand, where he intends to ride a “Wall of Death” at agricultural fairgrounds.


Briggs, like Moore, has been twice champion and third twice. This season he has ridden magnificently – one of the big reasons why Southampton have won the National League for the first time.

Moore and Briggs have both the courage and talent to win, but Craven may be the best home bet. This little Belle Vue rider won the British title this season by beating Briggs in a run-off and is in superlative form.


Sound Chance

European champion Bjorn Knutsson who finished second to funding in Malmo last year, must also be in with a sound chance but it will be a major surprise if the title goes to a rider outside the “Big Five”.

For the first time Russia will be represented at Wembley. Igor Plechanov, a bus driver, has shown great improvement this season but despite his fine record will do well to finish in the top eight.

By JOHN OAKLEY No television or radio coverage

UNLIKE the Wembley Finals of previous decades, the broadcasting authorities provided no coverage of the Speedway World Championship in 1962, even though it was taking place right on their doorsteps.

BBC Television, unlike the ITV regions,

did have a Saturday night sports

programme which went out at 10.35 but

it included only recorded highlights of the

football matches between Birmingham

and Burnley and Arsenal v Sheffield

Wednesday, as well as some swimming

and the Yorkshire County Rugby League

Cup.

Picture © BBC So what did we watch?

Unusual as it may seem to readers today, ATV, the London weekend programme provider in those gentler times, took out a half page advertisement in the Evening News - a half broadsheet page, that is - to promote their offerings over Saturday and Sunday. It seems a far richer schedule than anything we could hope for today and not a hint of a reality television programme anywhere!

And the winner was…

ONE of the smallest sporting giants England ever produced, PETER THEODORE CRAVEN began his racing career the day after his sixteenth birthday on his local circuit in Liverpool and became World Champion in 1955.

A wizard of balance, he qualified with 41 points to become the new British Champion in 1962 and was in top form by the time of the World Final.

Sadly, it would be his last full season in the sport. Craven was killed in a track crash at Edinburgh’s old Meadowbank stadium the following year after taking evasive action to avoid a fallen rider.

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