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Former King's Lynn Stars rider and Ipswich Witch ace dies

Former King’s Lynn rider and speedway legend Olle Nygren has passed away at the age of 91.

The Swedish sensation helped with the layout and construction of the Lynn track at Saddlebow Road during the early 1960s.

The former world No.3 rode for Lynn at the back end of his glittering career, in 1975 when future world champion Michael Lee made his Stars debut.

Olle Nygren (44484073)
Olle Nygren (44484073)

A superb all-round motorcyclist, after retirement from competitive racing his speedway training schools became very well-known at the now-named Adrian Flux Arena at Lynn.

The five-times world finalist made his name in Norfolk, as did his fellow Scandinavian Ove Fundin, by riding for Lynn’s predecessors the Norwich Stars between 1962 and 1964.

Nygren also had a spell at East Anglian rivals, Ipswich Witches between 1972 and 1974, as well as other British teams such as Swindon and West Ham.

Among his international achievements, the Stockholm star in 1960 was part of the Swedish team that won the World Team Cup on home soil, along with the likes of Fundin; he became the first Swede to finish on the World Championship rostrum in 1954; while he was Swedish champion in 1949 and Nordic champion in 1960.

Famous for his white boots, Nygren also competed in the Isle of Man motorcycle races.

Martin Rogers, former Lynn promoter, wrote in his book on the history of King’s Lynn “Forty Years On”: “Olaf-Harald Ingemar Nygren, born in Stockholm on November 11, 1929, has been associated with East Anglia and, directly or indirectly, with Saddlebow Road since the closure of the Norwich club.

“He helped Cyril Crane with the layout and construction of the King’s Lynn track and over time he staged hundreds of training schools at Saddlebow Road, involving riders of every conceivable nationality and pedigree.

“Olle did briefly, and disappointingly as it turned out, have half-a-season in the club’s colours.

His 30-year career contained a huge amount of incident and achievement; in Sweden, especially, he retains almost legendary status as ‘Varg-Olle’, the flaxen-haired rock around whom the Vargana club of Norrkoping was built after the Second World War.

“In the 1975 season – when Michael Lee made his club debut – Nygren rode in just nine matches for an average of 4.75.”

Former Norfolk Citizen (Lynn News sister paper) editor Paul Watson has informed Lynn News readers of the death of Arthur Paske.

Mr Paske, who it is believed was machine examiner at some point in the past at the Lynn Stars but is perhaps more associated with Mildenhall Speedway, has died.

Lynn co-promoter Dale Allitt said about Ely-based Mr Paske: “He was involved with Lynn as well. It was a while ago though now, a few years I think.”

The obituary notice read: “Arthur Paske sadly passed away suddenly but peacefully on Saturday, January 2, aged 85 years.

“Re-united with his devoted wife Jean, Arthur will be deeply missed by all the grandchildren, great grandchildren, family and friends.

“Due to current restrictions a family only funeral service was held at Cambridge Crematorium West Chapel on Monday, February 8.

“Donations at the request of Arthur may be made by cheque payable to World Speedway Riders Association and sent c/o Alan Philpott Paradise Park, White Stubbs Lane, Broxbourne, Herts, EN107QA.

Arthur was a great man and will be greatly missed by all.”

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