In Heat 5, former four-time champion Barry Briggs was involved in an accident which all but ended his speedway career. Going into the first turn his front wheel was hit by Bernt Persson's bike which caused him to fall. Unfortunately he was then hit by the following Russian riders Grigory Khlinovsky and Valery Gordeev. Briggs suffered a severe hand injury and lost the index finger on his right hand which caused him to temporarily retire from racing. Briggs had been considered one of the pre-meeting favourites and his favouritism had been firmed when he had beaten fellow New ZealanderIvan Mauger in Heat 2.
To the boos of the 75,000 strong Wembley crowd, FIM referee Georg Traunspurger did not exclude Persson, a lucky break for the Swede as he would later go on to finish in second place after losing a runoff with Ivan Mauger who took out his fourth World Championship. Although the rider of the meeting was undoubtedly defending champion Ole Olsen. In his first ride (Heat 4) while challenging Swede Christer Löfqvist for the lead after coming through from the back following a near crash in the first turn, he dramatically fell and would score no points. From there he was untroubled to win his next four rides to finish in a clear third place.