Tributes paid to leg­end of the track

The Chronicle - - Front Page -

By SI­MON MEECHAN Re­porter si­mon.meechan@trin­i­tymir­ @Si­monMeechan_90

NEW­CAS­TLE Di­a­monds’ great­est ever rider, Ivan Mauger, has died.

The New Zealan­der won his first World Cham­pi­onship as a mem­ber of the Byker speed­way team, who he joined in 1963.

The team has re­leased a state­ment mourn­ing the loss of “the great­est rider to wear the Black and White Di­a­monds’ race jacket”, af­ter Ivan died at home in Aus­tralia aged 78 af­ter an ill­ness.

Ivan first moved to Eng­land as a 17-year-old to chase his speed­way dream. Af­ter a spell rid­ing for Wim­ble­don he headed back to his home­land, but re­turned to Britain, where he rep­re­sented Hull, Ex­eter, Belle Vue and New­cas­tle.

Nick­named the “Gal­lop­ing Mauger,’ he won his first World Cham­pi­onship in 1968, his first of five World Speed­way Cham­pi­onship gold medals.

The New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame mem­ber also won World Cham­pi­onships in long-track speed­way in 1971, 1972 and 1976.

Many fans and pun­dits con­sider Ivan to have been the great­est speed­way rider of all time. His achieve­ments were given royal recog­ni­tion, with the Kiwi awarded an OBE and MBE dur­ing a glit­ter­ing ca­reer.

In a state­ment, New­cas­tle Di­a­monds say Ivan “never for­got his Ge­ordie fans. De­spite trav­el­ling the world many times over, win­ning ma­jor events in dozens of coun­tries, he al­ways had a soft spot in his heart for the quirky and tricky track we all know and love as Brough Park”.

The state­ment adds: “Ivan’s pass­ing will hit many New­cas­tle Speed­way sup­port­ers, man­age­ment and staff hard, such was the love and ad­mi­ra­tion the great man was held in up in our part of the world, and ev­ery­one at or con­nected to New­cas­tle Speed­way would like to pass the most sin­cere of con­do­lences on to Ivan’s wife Raye and fam­ily and friends. “Rest in peace Ivan ... New­cas­tle’s great­est Di­a­mond.” Ivan’s daugh­ter Deb­bie Pritchard paid trib­ute on Twit­ter. She wrote: “You knew him as ‘Ivan’ & I truly re­spect that. “I was so lucky and priv­i­leged to know him as Dad, how lucky we all were. Such an amazing life lived to the max.”

Ivan Mauger dur­ing his ca­reer

Ivan Mauger

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