|Date of birth||9 September 1955|
|Place of birth||Sydney, Australia|
|Date of death||23 April 1985(aged 29)|
|Current club information|
King's Lynn Stars
NSW State Champion
|1978, 1980, 1981, 1982,
1977, 1978, 1979, 1980
1981, 1982, 1984, 1985
|World Team Cup
British League Champion
British League KO Cup winner
British League Pairs Champion
1975, 1976, 1984
William Robert "Billy" Sanders (born 9 September 1955 in Sydney, Australia, died 23 April 1985) was an Australian international Speedway rider who won six Australian Championships and was a five time Speedway World Championship finalist with a career best second place in Germany 1983.
 Australian Speedway
Billy Sanders bought his first speedway bike from a man named Bruce Gardner. The bike was one previously owned by five time Australian champion Aub Lawson and Sanders used it to hone his skills at the Nepean Speedway in Sydney's north-west during 1969/70. He then went on to make his competition debut at the Liverpool Speedway in Sydney in early 1971, quickly becoming a crowd favourite. He also competed at Sydney's other major speedway, the famous Sydney Showground Speedway.
Sanders first made Australian speedways fans take notice by finishing in third place in the 1973 Australian Championship held at the Sydney Showground when he was only 18 years old behind winner John Boulger from Adelaide and fellow Sydney rider John Langfield. He again finished third in both 1976 and 1977 before winning the first of a then record six Australian Championships at Claremont Speedway in Perth. He would also win the Aussie title in 1980 (Sydney Showground), 1981 (Brisbane Exhibition Ground), 1982 (Claremont) and 1983 (Speedway Park, Adelaide, where he famously told the unruly crowd to "Get Stuffed" at the end of his victory speech while being booed unfairly following the unpopular decision to exclude Phil Crump in their heat clash, costing Crump the title. His run ended in 1984 when he finished second to local hero Crump at Olympic Park in Mildura, a track Sanders had previously admitted was the one Aussie track he never quite came to grips with.
Billy Sanders regained his Australian crown and won his sixth and last Australian Championship in 1985 at the Pioneer Park Speedway in Ayr in Queensland, where he would reverse the previous years result by defeating Crump, with Queensland's Stan Bear finishing third. Sadly, this was to be Sanders last Australian championship win as he died in England three months later. The Australian Speedway Championship now incorporates the "Billy Sanders Memorial Trophy" in recognition of his six championship wins. His record of six national championship wins stood until 2003 when Victoria's Leigh Adams won his seventh title. Adams would go on to record another 3 title wins taking the record number to 10 wins.
Sanders also had a virtual stranglehold on the NSW State Championship, and would win all of his record eight titles from 1977 until 1985, with the exception of 1983 when the title wasn't held. He also won the 1984 and 1985 Australian Masters titles at his home track of Liverpool Speedway. Both Masters finals were held over 10 laps and included all riders at the meetings.
Billy Sanders was signed by Ipswich Witches Manager/promoter John Berry in 1972 at the age of 16 and stayed with them until 1980. There he was British League Champion in both 1975 and 1976 and finished in third place in 1974. He was also British League KO Cup winner in both 1976 and 1978 and was the British League Pairs Champion in 1976 and 1977 paired with John Louis.
In 1979 Sanders not only rode for the Witches but also for the Birmingham Brummies. He would leave Ipswich in 1981, signing for the Hull Vikings. In 1982 he rode for the King's Lynn Stars before returning to Ipswich from in 1983 helping the Witches to finish runners up in the 1983 British League before going one better for his third and final British Speedway League Championship in 1984. He would also win a third and final League KO Cup title in 1984 with Ipswich.
Sanders continued to ride for the Ipswitch Witches until his untimely death in April 1985 at the age of just 29.
 International career
Sanders teamed with fellow Aussie Phil Crump to finish in fourth place in his first ever World Final appearance at the 1976 Speedway World Pairs Championship held in Eskilstuna, Sweden. He would then represent Australia at the 1976 Speedway World Team Cup. Teaming with Crump, Phil Herne and John Boulger, Sanders would win his first and only World championship as Australia outscored Poland and Sweden at London's White City Stadium.
He first qualified for the Speedway World Championship final in 1977 in Gothenburg, Sweden finishing in ninth place. He also again teamed with Crump in the 1977 World Pairs Championship finishing in seventh and last place.
He missed out on qualifying for the 1978 final but qualified for the 1979 World Final in Poland and finished in a strong fourth place, two points in front of defending champion Ole Olsen of Denmark who finished fifth.
Sanders finished in third place in the 1980 Individual Speedway World Championship, again in Gothenburg, behind English pair Michael Lee and Dave Jessup. Unfortunately Sanders would fail to qualify for either the 1981 or 1982 world finals.
In 1982 Sanders would again represent Australia in the World Pairs Championship, this time held at his home track of Liverpool Speedway in Sydney, the first time a Speedway World Championship final had been held in Australia. Teaming with fellow Liverpool hotshot, Gary Guglielmi, Sanders finished in a disappointing fourth place after being among the favourites before the meeting.
Billy Sanders finished in a best ever second place at the 1983 Individual World Championship held in Norden, Germany, behind local favourite and home track specialist Egon Müller. Sanders was really only considered as one who was just making up the numbers, but surprised all with his style and speed, winning his first two races and finishing third in his last three. Müller was unbeaten in his five rides for a 15 point maximum. Sanders was second with 12 points, while 1980 champion Michael Lee was third on 11 points with three wins, one second, and one last place finish.
He also represented Australia again at the World Pairs Final held in Gothenburg, and again teamed with Guglielmi after Phil Crump had declined to ride in the meeting. Sanders and Gugliemi finished in second place in the World Pairs, giving him a rare second place double in the 1983 Speedway World Finals. Billy was the form rider at the World Pairs Final, winning five of his six rides. His second last ride, against an out of form West German team (Müller and Karl Maier), saw him lead into the first turn, only to fall and cause the race to be stopped. As the reason for the stoppage, Sanders was excluded. Had he not fell, and finished the race in first or second place, Australia would have won the championship, instead of finishing just one point behind the England pairing of Peter Collins and Kenny Carter.
Billy Sanders qualified for the 1984 Individual World Final, again held in Gothenburg. This was to be his last World Final and it ended in disappointment as Sanders finished in eleventh place, scoring just five points from his five rides. For the third year in a row he would team with Guglielmi in the World Pairs Final, this time held in Lonigo, Italy, though they were unable to repeat or better their 1983 second place finish and slipped to fifth place.
His ashes were flown back to Australia where they are buried in Sydney.
The Australian national under-23s speedway championship is named the Bill Sanders Trophy in his memory.
 World Final Appearances
- 1977 - Göteborg, Ullevi - 9th - 6pts
- 1979 - Chorzów, Silesian Stadium - 5th - 11pts + 1pt
- 1980 - Göteborg, Ullevi - 3rd - 12pts + 2pts
- 1983 - Norden, Motodrom Halbemond - 2nd - 12pts
- 1984 - Göteborg, Ullevi - 11th - 5pts
- Oakes, P (1982). Daily Mirror 1982 Speedway Yearbook. Studio Publications (Ipswich) Ltd. ISBN 0-86215-072-8
- "Riders chase Sanders trophy". Speedway World. Retrieved 2008-11-03.
- Bamford, R. & Shailes, G. (2002). A History of the World Speedway Championship. Stroud: Tempus Publishing. ISBN 0-7524-2402-5
- History 1985, Ipswitch Witches website, URL retrieved 30 December 2006