Newcastle Diamonds’ greatest ever speedway rider, Ivan Mauger, has died. New Zealander Ivan won his first World Championship as a member of the Byker-based speedway team , who he joined in 1963. The club 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 following 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… Read full this story
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