Ivan Mauger MBE OBE - RIP
Former World Speedway Champion Ivan Mauger passed away overnight in Australia following a long illness.
Regarded by many as the greatest speedway rider of all time and certainly a professional ahead of his time, Ivan raised the profile of the sport in the 1970's when he became a household name - known not just within the sport but right across the sporting spectrum by people who knew nothing else about speedway.
The winner of six World Speedway Championships (1968, 1969, 1970, 1972, 1977 and 1979) Ivan made several appearances at Workington, the first of which came in 1974 when he appeared in front of a packed crowd for a series of match races with fellow Kiwi Barry Briggs; with Ivan winning the series 2-1.
He was later awarded an MBE and an OBE for his services to the sport.
Comets team manager Tony Jackson said: "I recall that as a youngster growing up in the very early days of the Comets he was regarded by myself and my friends as the sports' most well-known personality - he was already a three-time World Champion and the man who famously had a gold-plated speedway bike, even appearing on tv shows such as Blue Peter, which was watched by probably every kid in the land in those days.
"Later on I had the pleasure of meeting Ivan on several occasions down the years and understandably his knowledge of the sport was immense.
"One of the most memorable occasions was when he appeared at a 'talk-in' at The Cumberland Arms as a fund-raising event while he was hosting a Training Event at the Northside Training Track.
"On that occasion I had the pleasure of sharing the stage with him asking him questions about his distinguished career in front of an enthralled audience for the entire evening.
"It is a very sad day for the sport, which has lost a truly great champion, but the way that Ivan went about his business in the 1970's ultimately led to the sport becoming much more professional in its approach to all manner of things such as rider safety, sponsorship and the advances in equipment to name just a few.
"The sport that we have today owes a great deal to Ivan Mauger."
Everyone connected with Workington Speedway would like to pass on their deepest condolences to the Mauger family at this very sad time.
RIP Ivan - the Greatest!
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Last Updated : Mon 16 Apr 2018, 08:30 UK