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Jack Young born on the 31st January 1925 in Adelaide, S. Australia, although christened Jack Ellis Young to the British speedway enthusiast he was know as Jack Young and the Second Division rider who won the World Championship, in fact the only one ever, but lets go back to the beginning of his speedway career.

1947 saw Jack first take to a speedway track in his native Australia although not strictly to a speedway bike as these were not available so soon after the war and at the time those racing on the dirt track were using stripped out road bikes. It became obvious to all who watched that the young Jack deserved as much help as could be given and it was not long before a sponsor came up with a “proper” speedway bike. His sponsor, the local Rotrax/JAP importer.

After this he went from strength to strength and it was not long before news of him was relayed back to some of the British team promoters and he accepted an offer to ride for Edinburgh Monarchs in 1949 and started his period with the Monarchs by winning his first 18 races with them.

This also saw his first call to represent Australia, stepping in to replace injured riders for that seasons tests. On his return to Australia at the end of the British season he continued riding and showing just how much he had learned with the Monarchs during the last few months, his results being so good he won a place in the Australian team yet again but this time on his own merits even though it was only for the last match of the series, he proved his right to that place by scoring a maximum.

1950 and back to Edinburgh to ride again for the Monarchs, winning a British Match Race against Jack Parker and his place in the World Speedway Championship Final that would be held at Wembley in a few weeks.  

1951 and Jack Young once again qualified for the World Speedway Championship Final and this time he was to prove that a rider from the Second Division was in no way second class, this time he won and became the World Speedway Champion. This was to be his last season with Edinburgh Monarchs.

1952 saw Jack move to West Ham Hammers where a place became available with the departure of Aub Lawson, Jack was about to show the Division One just how well ex-division Two riders could manage in the top ranks. In the first 38 league matches he achieved 19 maximums and just to make sure there was no doubt about his ability he ended the season winning the World Championship Finals yet again only this time from the top division.

Remaining with West Ham till 1955 he was 5th in the World Finals in 1953, won the 1954 London Riders Championship and was 4th in that year’s World Finals. When West Ham closed at the end of the 1955 season he returned home spending a couple of years there with is wife and children.

In 1958 he returned to the UK to ride for Coventry Bees for the season and again in 1960/61 – still scoring well and sometimes with the old brilliance but perhaps the pull of home, wife and children was becoming stronger and taking the edge of his speedway hunger, at the end of 1961 he returned home and remained there. He raced for two more years in Australia but announced his retirement in 1963 or it could have been 1964 I have heard both dates mentioned but what ever it was it was the end of a very successful and at times brilliant career. He must be numbered as one of the top riders the sport has known particularly when one remembers he was riding at a time when the sport changed from leg trailing to foot forward so the sport not only required flair and riding skill but a determination to do it your way and that Jack Young did with great success.

Jack died a the early age of 62 on the 28th August in 1987 in Adelaide.

Jack Young

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