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Looking forward to researching that well known and admired Australian rider Vic Duggan I hit a problem almost at once. When was he born? Now some say 1910 others 1915 and a few choose early in the 20th century. For someone who’s name most of those interested in speedway will know, even if they did not see him ride, is a surprising state of affairs. Personal I think the earlier date, 1910, correct and that his brother Ray was born some 3 years later in 1913, but I could be wrong.  Vic, I understand, was born in Maitland, New South Wales into a family of Irish decent and baptised Victor John Duggan.

His UK riding career started in 1937 when he could be seen riding for the Hackney Wick Wolves prior to transferring to the Bristol Bulldogs the following year. He joining the Wimbledon Dons in 1939 before his speedway career was put on hold by the start of World War II.

Following the resumption of British league speedway racing after the end of the hostilities, Victor and his brother Ray returned to racing during the 1947 UK season. It was to be Harringay Racers that would be host to this experienced man. He had by this time won many championships and titles in Australia adding the 1947 London Riders’ Championship winner to his growing haul of major wins.

Tragedy struck the Duggan family when in January 1950 at the Sydney Sports Ground Ray was involved in an accident on the track as a result of which he died, this accident was witnessed by his brother Vic. It seems that although Vic fulfilled his riding commitments in the UK for that year which included riding in the 1950’s World Final and for Harringay the enthusiasm for racing, at least in the UK, had gone following his brothers demise and he did not, as far as I am aware, race again. At one time Vic was a co-director of the Sydney Show Ground although I do not know if this was so at the time of his brothers on track crash.

Spending his later years living with his son John he passed away in 2007.

Three Australian Greats

Vic Duggan, Lionel Van Praag and Aub Lawson
at West Ham 1947

Vic Duggan

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Group photo above courtesy Reg Fearman

Read more about Vic Duggan - Click Here

Click the button above for much fuller details of the career of Vic Duggan in an obituary written by
John Chaplin