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Irish Eyes Were Smiling
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King's Lynn - Part 1
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Speedway in Germany 1933
Dream Team : Kevin Huggett
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Australia 70/71
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Dream Team: Peter Hunter

I grew up in and have lived all of my 36 years in Adelaide, South Australia and sadly have never seen British Speedway in person, only on video. I can't say I follow any team but having grown up going to Rowley Park Speedway, Speedway Park (now Speedway City), North Arm Speedway and Wayville, I follow the riders more than any team. I'm going to try not being biased towards Aussie riders here but.....

Sanders Parker

Hans Nielsen
A 4 time World Champion and a rider who dominated the British Leagues during his career. Other riders such as Erik Gundersen had great nights and won many championships but Nielsen was usually in form over a whole season, not just on occasions. How could you leave him out?

Billy Sanders
Quite possibly the best Aussie rider never to win the World Title. He won 6 Australian championships and 8 NSW State championships before he unfortunately took his own life in 1985. Had he not done so, how many more would he have won?

Michael Lee
1980 World Champion and a man who could match it with the best when he was in the mood. I know he only won the 1 world final but unlike other "one hit wonders" like Egon Muller and Jerzy Szczakiel, Lee was good enough to win more, he just didn't.

Leigh Adams
What more can be said? A record 10 Australian championships, 4 Aussie U-21 championships, 1992 World U-21 champion, 6 Victorian state championships, 8 SGP wins and the 1986 Australian U-16 champion. First saw him ride at North Arm in Adelaide in 1991 in an Australia vs Sweden test and then again a year later when he won his 1st Aussie title. Now he is fighting just to be able to walk again after his accident training for the 2011 Finke Dessert Race. He'll do it too.

Ivan Mauger
A six time World Champion and competitive until he retired in his mid-40s. First rider to win the World Final and World Longtrack Final in the same year (1972). Did a "demo" run at Adelaide's Gillman Speedway in 2006 and at age 67 he showed he hadn't lost much when he completed 4 laps aboard Aaron Summers bike and was only 7 seconds slower than Leigh Adams then 4 lap record! Truly amazing

John Boulger
I'll admit I only ever saw JB ride in person once and that was a demo run at the 1992 Aussie Final at North Arm, 10 years after he retired from riding (I did see Boulger race Midgets for a few seasons in Adelaide with some success). Won a record 9 South Aussie titles (7 in a row from 1972-1978) and 2 Aussie titles. Probably South Australia's best ever rider along with Jack Young.

Shane Parker
Ever since I first saw Parker ride at the Riverview Speedway in Murray Bridge (80km east of Adelaide), I've been a fan. Maybe it was his bright green bike? Or the fact that the guy could race and gave his all every time. IMO the best Aussie rider never to (yet) win the Australian Championship, though I believe he will race in the 2011 championship series. I met Shane once when we were both spectators at the 2006 Australian U-16 championship in Adelaide, 21 years after he won the title himself. Hell of a nice bloke and a great rider.

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This article was first published on 1st December 2011

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