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Ronnie Moore, born in Hobart, Tasmania on the 8th March 1933, although born on Australian soil his family moved to New Zealand when he was young and he considers himself to be a New Zealander.


In many ways Ronnie had an unusual working life from start to finish. He could be said to have been born with a motorcycle between his knees as opposed to a silver spoon in his mouth as his Father ran a Wall of Death travelling show and like most young lads Ronnie had to get involved, I am told that by the age of 14 he was proficient it this gravity challenging motorcycling and then turned to his fathers speedway bike.


Winning a championship in New Zealand South Islands in 1949 at the age of 16 he came to the attention of Norman Parker, then captain of the Wimbledon Dons, who brought the young Ronnie to the attention of the Wimbledon management. And so at the age of 17 the young Moore found himself in a strange land with a team place at one of the UKs premier speedway teams.


Whilst many if not most speedway riders move from team to team Ronnie Moore is again unusual in that he only ever rode for Wimbledon Dons from the start of his speedway career in the UK to his retirement in 1972 although this was not a continuous service.


From the start in 1950 and apart from a short break when he gave motor racing a try in 1956/57 he remained with the Wimbledon team until 1963 augmenting being a successful and exciting team member by winning the World Speedway Championship twice in 1954 at 21 years with a maximum score and a still healing broken leg and again in 1959. Between 1950 and 1963 he appeared in the World Speedway Championship final every year with the exception of 1957 clocking up 2 wins, 2 seconds, 2 fourths, 1 fifth and 3 sixths. Although only managing 10th at his first attempt in 1950 that almost unbelievably being his first year of racing in the UK and at the age of 17 making him the youngest rider to qualify for a place at the World Final.


As already mentioned his service with the Dons was not continual because in 1963 following another break to a leg he returned to New Zealand taking his British born wife Jill with him. He resumed riding there and returned to the UK in 1969 to rejoin the Wimbledon Dons where he remained until 1972. Returning home again to New Zealand he did continue riding until retiring again following a serious head injury whilst riding at Jerilderie Park Speedway in Australia in 1975.


Ronnie’s was an illustrious career and apart from winning the World Speedway Finals twice and qualifying 15 times, he was the New Zealand Champion in 1956, 1962, 68 & 69, London Riders Champion in 1952 & 1972 as well as team & pairs awards.  He was awarded the MBE and has a stadium re-named after him, the Moore Park Motorcycle Speedway Stadium and last but from our point of view by no means least he was president of the World Speedway Riders’ Association in 2003.

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