Ivan Mauger — The Speedway Legend

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Born on the 4th of October 1939 in Christchurch, New Zealand, Ivan Mauger is one of the notable speedway drivers to walk the earth. He had a good long career with over 50 individual and 12 team honours before dying at age 78 in April 2018. This article will walk you through the career of the speedway legend popular Ivan Mauger.

The Beginnings

At the age of 12, Mauger has always dreamed of becoming a speedway driver. He saved up his salary working as a delivery boy for a chemist in New Zealand. Before turning 16 years old, the young lad was able to buy a bike and moved to Wimbledon, England, with his teenage bride Raye. In no time, he began racing at Plough Lane in the Faces of the Future races and also helped Mac, the groundsman. Little did he know he was on his way to becoming a legendary speedway driver.

The Return to England

The major breakthrough in Mauger’s career occurred in 1963. This was the period he returned to England with his wife to join Newcastle Diamonds, a Mike Parker’s Provincial league team. In 1966, he worked hard and qualified for his first World Final competition, where he finished fourth. Two years later, he appeared in the World Championship 1968 and won it. Throughout his career, Mauger won six record-breaking World Championship titles.

At the end of 1968, the speedway driver requested a transfer and joined the Belle Vue Aces. Here, he won the league title in 1970, 1971 and 1972, becoming the only rider that completed the Triple Crown.

After a great time with Belle Vue Aces, Mauger joined Exeter Falcons in 1973, where he completed a record of 5 World Championship wins. By 1978, he moved to Hull Vikings and also won a World Championship title, bringing the total tally to 6.

Honours and Awards

Mauger won several individual awards and team awards in his gallery throughout his career. In the 1976 New Year Honours, he was appointed as a Member of the Order of the British Empire for his speedway driving services. In 1989, he got a promotion in rank to Officer of the Order of the British Empire. Besides that, he was also inducted into the New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame in 1990. Among the titles that Mauger won during his career include:

  • Work Champion
  • Long Track World Champion
  • Intercontinental Champion
  • European Champion
  • British Champion
  • Speedway World Team Cup
  • British League Riders Champion and more.