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Speedway Scrapbook: Briggs Gets MBE

From Motor Cycle News - 6th June 1973

BARRY BRIGGS, one of speedway's greatest ambassadors, has been awarded the MBE. The announcement was made in the Queen's Birthday Honours list on Saturday, although Briggs was first notified two months ago and thought it was a hoax. Beseiged by messages of congratulation at his Southampton home, four-times world champion Briggs explained on Monday:

"The letter was waiting for me when I came back from Germany in April. It was signed by the Prime Minister, but I thought it was somebody putting me on. It wasn't until I received a 'phone call from a government department that I realised it was all genuine."

Briggs, now 38, explained his feelings.

"I felt terrific. It is tremendous to be put in the same category as the Hailwoods and all the other blokes I'd held as heroes. And I think it's good for our sport in general."

He believes it was the BSPA, under the cloak of the RAC, that nominated him for the honour.

Briggs was born at Christchurch, New Zealand in Pee-ember 1934, began his racing career in 1951 and came to Britain a year later, joining Wimbledon. He has been here ever since, except in the 1959 season when he stayed in New Zealand and flew over to defend his world title. He has also ridden for New Cross, Southampton and Swindon.

He will receive the MBE at Buckingham Palace at a later date.

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This article was first published on 5th May 2019

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