Ove Fundin

Ove Fundin (born 23 May 1933) is a Swedish former professional motorcycle speedway rider. He competed in the Speedway World Championships from 1951 to 1970. Fundin is notable for winning the Speedway World Championship Final five times (1956, 1960, 1961, 1963, 1967), a record bettered only by Ivan Mauger and fellow Swede Tony Rickardsson who each won six World Championships. He finished runner-up in the championship 3 times (1957–59) and was third in 1962, 1964 and 1965 meaning that from his first win in 1956 until his last in 1967, Fundin did not finish lower than a podium place in a record eleven World Finals.[1] He was known by the nickname of the "Flying Fox" or just "the Fox" because of his red hair. In 2013, Fundin was named an FIM Legend for his motorcycling achievements.[2]

Ove Fundin
Born (1933-05-23) 23 May 1933 (age 87)
Tranås, Sweden
NicknameThe Fox or The Flying Fox
Nationality Sweden
Current club information
Career statusRetired
Career history
1951-1957Filbyterna (SWE)
1955-1964Norwich Stars
1958-1971Kaparna (SWE)
1966Long Eaton Archers
1967Belle Vue Aces
1970Wembley Lions
Individual honours
1956, 1960, 1961, 1963, 1967World Champion
1956, 1957, 1960, 1962, 1964,
1966, 1967, 1969, 1970
Swedish Champion
1954Continental Champion
1956, 1958, 1959, 1961, 1965European Final winner
1955, 1961, 1963, 1967Nordic Champion
1957Pride of the East winner
1960Southern Riders Champion
1963Pride of the Midlands winner
1960/61SA State Champion (Aust)
1969WA State Champion (Aust)
1967Golden Helmet of Pardubice (CZE)
1961, 1962, 1963FIM Internationale
1962The Laurels
Team honours
1960, 1962, 1963,
1964, 1967, 1970
World Team Cup
1968World Pairs Champion
1968, 1970Allsvenskan Champion
1955, 1963National Trophy
Competition record
Representing  Sweden
Speedway World Championship
Gold medal – first place 1956
Gold medal – first place 1960
Gold medal – first place 1961
Gold medal – first place 1963
Gold medal – first place 1967
Silver medal – second place 1957
Silver medal – second place 1958
Silver medal – second place 1959
Bronze medal – third place 1962
Bronze medal – third place 1964
Bronze medal – third place 1965
Speedway World Team Cup
Gold medal – first place 1960
Gold medal – first place 1962
Gold medal – first place 1963
Gold medal – first place 1964
Gold medal – first place 1967
Gold medal – first place 1970
Silver medal – second place 1961
Silver medal – second place 1965
Silver medal – second place 1968
Bronze medal – third place 1966
Speedway World Pairs Championship
Gold medal – first place 1968
Silver medal – second place 1969
Silver medal – second place 1970
Golden Helmet
Gold medal – first place 1967
Silver medal – second place 1968
Long Track World Championship
Silver medal – second place 1961

CareerEdit

Fundin was born in Tranås. It was suggested to him by Australian champion Aub Lawson that he ride in Britain and he joined the Norwich Stars, riding for them from 1955 until 1964 when the Firs stadium closed. Then he rode for Long Eaton 1966, Belle Vue 1967, Wembley 1970 but will always be remembered for the glory days at Norwich Stars where he was worshiped by the home fans.

He made a total of 15 World Final appearances coming runner-up three times and third three times as well as his five wins. He also helped Sweden win the World Team Cup in 1960, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1967 and 1970 as well as the Speedway World Pairs Championship in 1968. He is considered by many to be the greatest rider of all time and this is reflected by the Speedway World Cup being named after him. Fundin went through the World Team Cup (including qualifying rounds and the final in Gothenburg) undefeated in 1960, a feat not matched until Australia's Jason Crump went through the 2001 Speedway World Cup undefeated.

Fundin also made several visits to Australia during his career with considerable success. Along with representing Sweden and various "Rest of the World" teams in Test Matches against the Australians, he won the South Australian Championship four times (1966, 1967, 1969, 1970) at the Rowley Park Speedway in Adelaide, and the Western Australian Championship at the Claremont Speedway in Perth in 1969.

Fundin received the Svenska Dagbladet Gold Medal in 1961 (shared with Sten Lundin).

After retirementEdit

Fundin was honoured as a Freeman of the City of Norwich in 2006, only the second non-English person to be awarded this honour. The ceremony was completed at Norwich City Hall Council chamber by the Lord Mayor of Norwich on October 30, 2006.

He currently lives on the French Riviera.[3]

World Final appearancesEdit

Individual World ChampionshipEdit

World Pairs ChampionshipEdit

* Unofficial World Championships.

World Team CupEdit

World Longtrack ChampionshipEdit

  • 1959 - Semi-final
  • 1961 -   Oslo (Second)
  • 1962 -   Mühldorf (12th)
  • 1966 - Qualifying Round

Nordic Longtrack ChampionEdit

  • 1963

External linksEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Bamford, R. & Shailes, G. (2002). A History of the World Speedway Championship. Stroud: Tempus Publishing. ISBN 0-7524-2402-5
  2. ^ "FIM Legends" (PDF). fim-live.com. Retrieved April 29, 2020.
  3. ^ Marsh, Lorna (July 21, 2006). "Speedway legend to get freedom of city". Eastern Daily Press. Retrieved November 24, 2017. Speaking from his home in the French Riviera, Fundin, known around the world for his contribution to the sport in Norwich, said: "It is a great honour, really fantastic. I am deeply proud and very happy."
Preceded by
Jane Cederqvist
Svenska Dagbladet Gold Medal . (with Sten Lundin)
1961
Succeeded by
Assar Rönnlund