Foxhall Stadium snub for legend Briggs
SPEEDWAY: Dirt track legend Barry Briggs has been told that he is not welcome at Foxhall Stadium as he goes round British tracks collecting for charity.
The four-time world champion set off from Wembley Stadium in the Spring to motor cycle to every speedway stadium to raise cash for Sport Relief and his own charity to help injured riders in wheelchairs.
The New Zealand-born 75-year-old has been told by Ipswich not to turn up at a meeting - so instead Briggs will be at Orwell Motor Cycle in Ranelagh Road on Saturday to meet the Ipswich public.
“I was hoping to come to Foxhall on a couple of occasions,” said Briggs. “But because Kim Jansson is not on my list of 12 riders I’m trying to raise �120,000 for I have had to make other plans.
“Ipswich’s Chris Louis has texted me to say that as Kim is very popular at Ipswich it would not be a good idea to continue the collection at Foxhall.
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“Chris says Ipswich are still supportive of my ride.
“I can understand the feeling towards Kim but to say the least it is a little disappointing.”
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Undaunted Briggs, who was awarded the MBE for services to sport in 1976 and was inducted into the New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame in 1990, will instead head with his friend Dave Bickers to Ipswich Yamaha dealers Orwell Motor Cycles instead.
He will be arriving at 10am on Saturday and staying until 1pm.
“I hope to see as many Witches fans there as possible,” added Briggs, who is set to visit Sheffield on Thursday and Stoke on Saturday night to complete his trip of every British club - Ipswich apart.
“The big news is that the two Ipswich boys in wheelchairs, John Simmons and Lawrence Hare will be there to meet fans.
“We’ll be taking a collection, signing books, DVD’s and T Shirts, plus a raffle with some good prizes.
“I’m looking forward to seeing as many fans as possible, especially the bike shop.”
Briggs was twice voted into second place in the BBC Sports Personality of the Year, in 1966 behind England’s World Cup winning captain Bobby Moore. Then, again, in 1968 to England’s ‘Golden Girl,’ Olympic Champion Mary Rand.
Jansson, who broke his back riding in his native Sweden, was in Ipswich last month when a special cricket match was staged on his behalf with over �1,500 being raised. hare was at the event with most of the current Ipswich side and managementg either playing or present.