John McNeill (speedway rider)
4 August 1955 |
Footscray, Victoria, Australia
|Current club information|
|1975–1976||Mildenhall Fen Tigers|
|1980, 1982||Poole Pirates|
|1981||Cradley Heath Heathens|
Born in Footscray, Victoria, McNeill took up speedway at Northern Park, Melbourne in 1972. He rode for Victoria before starting his British speedway career in 1975, signing with National League Mildenhall Fen Tigers, although his first ride was guesting for Crewe Kings against Mildenhall. He also rode for Newport in the British League the same year. After delaying his return to the UK in 1976 he rode for several teams without scoring a point. He signed for Leicester Lions in 1977, doubling up in the National League with Scunthorpe Saints, riding for both teams until 1979. In 1978 he won the Victoria State Championship and rode in three tests for Australasia at National League level, later representing the senior Australasia team in a test match. After breaking a leg in 1979 while riding as guest for Birmingham Brummies he bought himself out of his contract with Leicester and in 1980 he moved on to Hull Vikings and then Poole Pirates, followed by a spell with Cradley Heath Heathens and Swindon Robins in 1981. His final season in British speedway was 1982, in which he rode for Weymouth Wildcats.
After retiring, McNeill turned his hand to promoting speedway in Australia. He successfully promoted many international events at tracks such as the Melbourne Showgrounds, including the now defunct 'Boxing Day Spectacular', and the 'Mr Melbourne' meetings. McNeill also successfully organised top overseas riders to race in Australia during the 1980s and 1990s, with riders including Hans Nielsen, Shawn Moran and Simon Wigg.
- Oakes, Peter & Mauger, Ivan (1976) Who's Who of World Speedway, Studio Publications, ISBN 0-904584-04-6, p. 129
- Jones, Alan (2010) Speedway in Leicester: The Lions Roar, Automedia, p. 172
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