Headlining Speedway

5 SpeedwayFiction Speedway like it used to be! Home This London Evening News special edition was published to mark the staging of the 1965 Wembley World Final, won by Sweden’s Björn Knutsson

Position

Name

Country

Points

1

Björn Knutsson

Sweden

14

2

Igor Plechanov

USSR

13

3

Ove Findin

Sweden

13

4

Barry Briggs

New Zealand

10

5

Bengt Jansson

Sweden

10

6

Brian Brett

England

9

7

Sören Sjösten

Sweden

9

8

Nigel Boocock

England

8

9

Andrzej Pogorzelski

Poland

7

10

Antoni Woryna

Poland

6

11

Leif Larsson

Sweden

5

12

Reg Luckhurst

England

4

13

Ken McKinlay

Scotland

4

14

Jimmy Gooch

Engand

3

15

Andrzej Wyglenda

Poland

2

16

Luboš Tomíček

Czechoslovakia

2

How they scored SpeedwayFiction The Headline Story: Big Ordeal But Barry Briggs Can Keep Crown

Barry Briggs, the mighty atom of speedway racing, will be out to become the first British rider to hold the World Crown four times when he defends his title in a line-up of stars from seven countries in the Championship Final at Wembley tonight.

Swedish ace Ove Fundin is the only rider to achieve this feat and, after clinching the European final in Czechoslovakia, he is back among a galaxy of challengers to attempt to recover the title and prove he is still the greatest.

These two Goliaths of the track have dominated the scene since appearing in their first world final twelve years ago. Now they face the most tremendous ordeal of their careers against formidable opposition from home and abroad.

Only the toughest have a chance in this dangerous sport of skill and wits and neither New Zealand-born Briggs nor Fundin can give an inch to rivals of the calibre of England's Nigel Boocock and Russia's Igor Plechanov.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.



By HARRY DONE

He has been training with the Southampton's soccer team to reach peak fitness and will have a Czech mechanic in the pits to service his Czech built ESO machines on which he has retained his British Championship and Golden Helmet titles this season.

Only two Englishmen have won the title – Tommy Price in 1949 and the late Peter Craven in 1955 and 1962 – but there could be a third if Coventry-based Boocock repeats the riproaring form displayed in some of his tussles with Briggs this season.

Neither can anyone rule out the prospect of master tactician Plechanov of becoming the first Russian to take the crown after his breathtaking display in last year's final at Gothenberg when he defeated funding in a run-off for second place behind Briggs.

All five Swedes in the ten-strong foreign contingent have had experience with British clubs and strong-armed Andrzei Pogozelski leads a Polish trio who have already demonstrated their power by winning the World Team Cup in West Germany.

It will be mighty tough for thirty-year-old Briggs but no one rides the Wembley circuit with more know-how and I nominate him to retain his crown.


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.

Briggs cracked a bone in his right foot while racing on the continent last weekend, yet no rider has prepared with greater dedication for this nerve-nagging battle of the giants.

Again, nothing on TV

THE fashion of no coverage on TV or radio continued. There was no live broadcast on Saturday night, nor were there highlights on Sunday.


BBC1 chose to broadcast The Saint, a thriller, ‘Man From Tangier’ and the Frankie Vaughan Show. The fledgeling BBC2 had Cinema 625, which showed a French film with subtitles. ATV, which was the ITV channel for London at the weekends in those days,

televised a variety show from the London Palladium, starring Gracie Fields, Helen Shapiro and Arthur Askey.


On the radio, the Home service gave us a play, ‘The Voyage to Guiana’.


At least the results of the World Final were given out on Radio Luxembourg after the 11 o’clock news!

As always, the Evening News provided pen portraits of all the competing riders. That written for the eventual winner, Björn Knutsson, was a modest and scarcely flattering paragraph. The paper’s columnist had predicted Barry Briggs to win, after all! Pen portrait of the eventual winner And while you were waiting…

SINCE you couldn’t watch the World final on any TV channel or listen to it on the wireless, you had to make do with the results, given out on Radio Luxembourg after the 11 o’clock news.

While you waited, you might have heard some or all of the records opposite, since these were the top of the pops on Saturday September 18, 1965, according to the London Evening News.