Sunday 30th December 1934
Born on this day, Barry Briggs, four-time World Champion Speedway rider, in Christchurch, New Zealand. Briggs not only won a World Individual Championship title four times (1957,’58,’64 and ’66), but he appeared in a record seventeen consecutive World Individual finals (1954–’70). Still not impressed? Okay, Briggs won the London Riders’ Championship in 1955 riding for the Wimbledon Dons. Yeah, so? He’s a six-time British Champion, winning his first final in 1961 and then totally dominating the sixties, winning in 1964,’65,’66,’67, and’69. Wait there’s more, proving there’s no “I” in “TEAM”, Barry represented the Swindon Robins winning the British League Riders Championship six consecutive years from 1965–’70. Briggs retired from British league racing in 1972 after an accident during Heat 5 of the World Final at Wembley Stadium with the Russian rider Grigory Khlinovsky. As a result of the accident, Briggs lost the index finger of his left hand (“…it’s just a flesh wound!”). In 1973 Barry Briggs was awarded an MBE for his services to sport. In 1990 he was inducted into the New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame.