Ken Le Breton

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Ken Le Breton
Ken le breton.jpg
Personal information
Nationality  Australia
Date of birth 15 August 1924
Place of birth    Sydney, New South Wales
Date of death    6 January 1951(1951-01-06) (aged 26)
Place of death    Sydney, New South Wales
Nickname The White Ghost
Current club information
British league -
Career history
New Cross Rangers
Newcastle Diamonds
Ashfield Giants
1947
1947-1948
1949-1950
Individual honours
None
Team honours
None

Francis James "Ken" Le Breton (15 August 1924 Sydney,[1] New South Wales – 6 January 1951)[2] was an Australian Motorcycle speedway rider who was nicknamed "The White Ghost" due to his wearing white leathers.

Early career[edit]

Le Breton served in the Australian Army as a gunner in World War II.[3] His service in New Guinea ended when he was hospitalized with swamp fever[disambiguation needed], malaria and battle fatigue.[3] He was demobbed in 1945 and took up speedway the following year.[3] He took part in novice trials at the Sydney Sports Ground but failed to impress and was turned away. He then took part in trials at the West Maitland Showground in New South Wales and was immediately noticed by everybody as he appeared with all white leathers and bike. Ray Duggan was at the meeting took an interest in Le Breton and helped him get established back at the Sydney Sports Ground where he rode in all white as "The White Ghost."

UK career[edit]

He sailed to the UK in 1947 to try to get a team place and signed for the New Cross Rangers, but things did not go so well so the second division Newcastle Diamonds signed him in exchange for Jeff Lloyd and £1000. He moved with the Newcastle promotion to Glasgow with the Ashfield Giants in 1949 and completed two seasons there until 1950.

World Final Appearance[edit]

Death[edit]

Ken was involved in a crash on 5 January 1951 at the Sydney Sports Ground where he first rode a speedway bike. He was representing Australia in the 2nd Test match of the 1950-51 season against England.[3] In heat eighteen, he was attempting to pass England's Eddie Rigg on the last bend, looking to gain third place when he cut into Rigg's rear wheel. Ken's bike locked and he hit the safety fence hard and straight on. He died the next day in St Vincent's Hospital in Sydney due to severe head injuries including a fractured skull.[3] He had also punctured his lung.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Addison J. (1948). The People Speedway Guide. Odhams Press Limited
  2. ^ Henry, J. & Moultray, I. (2001). Hammerin' Round. ISBN 0-7524-2229-4
  3. ^ a b c d e f Davies, Trevor (2008) Warzone Speedway, Trevor Davies Publishing, ISBN 978-0-9558624-0-3, p. 128
  4. ^ Bamford, R. & Shailes, G. (2002). A History of the World Speedway Championship. Stroud: Tempus Publishing. ISBN 0-7524-2402-5