King's Lynn Stars boss chooses his all-time speedway XI
King’s Lynn Minors & Brady Stars team manager Peter Schroeck lists his all-time speedway one-to-seven.
Scattered among them are some Lynn names from the past, plus plenty of world title winners and all-round two-wheel talents.
1. Mitch Shirra.
Appeared for the Coventry Bees, Reading Racers, Swindon Robins and Ipswich Witches in the British League.
The 60 year-old was at one time Australasian, New Zealand and Overseas Champion as well as grabbing a string of Long Track GP titles.
In 1979 he was a member of the New Zealand team including Ivan Mauger (see below) which won the World Team Cup at the White City Stadium in London.
2. Egon Müller.
Won the speedway world title in 1983, fittingly in his homeland with a maximum score of 15 points. Took in many British clubs including long-defunct Coatbridge Tigers and Hull Vikings.
The 71-year-old was Long Track World Champion in 1974, 1975 and 1978, eight-times German Champion and four-times Continental Champion.
3. John Davis.
Rode for 10 English clubs - among them King’s Lynn during 1988-89 - whose achievements included being a World Team Cup winner, being capped for England 68 times, and was the first Englishman to win the prestigious Czech Golden Helmet in Pardubice. He was also the first Englishman to race in the Polish League.
4. Peter Collins MBE.
Part of a talented Manchester family, the Belle Vue Aces speedster won 10 World Championships in speedway competition (one Individual, four Pairs and five World Team Cups) to become the most successful British rider in history.
5. Simon Wigg.
A highly-gifted all-round motorcyclist, ‘Wiggy’ spearheaded many teams including King’s Lynn and was a Lynn News columnist for a while.
He won five world long track titles and finished runner-up in the Speedway World Championship in 1989.
After suffering epileptic seizures which were originally attributed to head trauma from racing crashes, he was diagnosed with a brain tumour, which surgery failed to eradicate. Wigg sadly died in 2000 aged just 40.
6. Ivan Mauger OBE.
Considered by many to be the finest speedway rider of all time, and another Kiwi, like Shirra.
The Christchurch-born ace, who passed away two years ago, bagged a record six World Championships (Finals). This was equalled only with the inclusion of the Speedway GP Championships by ex-Lynn rider Tony Rickardsson who won one World Final and five GP Championships.
7. Mick Poole.
Australian who was an influence on former Stars rider Jason Crump and who won the title with Peterborough - where he spent the majority of his UK career - for their first-ever league championship in 1992.
He also rode as a wild card in the 2002 Australian Grand Prix but was forced to quit because of a serious leg injury soon afterwards.
Schroeck reserved special praise for his compatriot Müller: “I used to love watching Egon. No matter what people say about him, he’s a legend.
“He is the only German to win the speedway world championship. He was very well respected by all the other riders. He was the top long track rider for many, many years.
“Even now he is very popular with a lot of people. He’s a bit like Marmite because he can be in your face but it’s what made him a lot of money.
“He is a very clever engine tuner and a really nice man, he’d always try to help you out. At the time he was a top, top motorcyclist, a bit like Simon Wigg; probably better than Simon. It was unfortunate what happened with Simon’s health.”
On Mitch Shirra, he added: “I spent a lot of time with him because my dad used to sponsor him with one of his long track bikes. He was ony 16 or 17 when he signed for Coventry.
“He was nicknamed the Sunbrite Kid because he was sponsored by Sunbrite. He was a small, tiny guy but a hell of a rider; very hard.”
Former Eastbourne and Rye House rider Schroeck added about the other members of his all-time team, starting with Mauger: “He was world champion six times and I was lucky to go on with him to a couple of tours to Australia with his Ivan Mauger Tours. He was a great guy.”
“I used to love watching Mick Poole; he was a legend in himself. He was at Peterborough, and at King’s Lynn I believe, as well for a little while. I used to have a lot of time for him.”
“John Davis was also at King’s Lynn for a while but was known for riding at Ipswich.
“I’ve always been a huge fan of Peter Collins.”