Vic Huxley
Page updated 01-Jan-2011

Victor Nelson Huxley was born in Brisbane on 23 September 1906. He was in the first wave of Australians to conquer British Speedway, arriving in 1928. His league career was based entirely in London, initially with Harringay (1930-31), prior to a six season string with Wimbledon (1931-36). His activities with the Dons are covered here:

He was a regular in the Star Championship final, appearing six times between 1929-1935. Having finished a runner up to fellow countryman Frank Arthur in the overseas section in 1929, Vic bounce back to emerge as Champion in 1930, before again having to settle for second position in both 1931 and 1932. He actually won thirteen major trophies in 1930, including his victory in the Star Championship, plus the Track Championships of five London circuits.

In fact, so brilliant was he that he was appointed World Champion at the start of the 1931 season. As it was the promoters' decision, the ACU withheld official recognition of the title, although they did allow the competition to be billed as 'World' throughout the year, prior to making their ruling! Going back to the actual contest, Vic defeated his first challenger Colin Watson, but then lost to Jack Parker, who had won through the preliminary rounds. He again took victory in the renamed British Individual Championship when beating Tiger Stevenson in 1934, prior to losing to Tom Farndon later in the same year.

He was a frequent Test Match rider, captaining Australia in 26 of his 34 Test appearances in England from 1930-1936, including the first-ever match in 1930. Vic also appeared in three series Down Under and took part in the first World Championship final at Wembley Stadium in 1936, netting a 7-point tally. Prior to that he won the London Riders' Championship at New Cross on 20 May, but having carried an injury throughout the year, he rode in some pain, so decided to retire after the 1936/7 Australian season.

He did ride again in one further Down Under series against England, and much later re-appeared briefly for fun at the Exhibition Speedway, Brisbane on 17 May 1947, when he failed to break the one-lap flying start record by just 0.6 seconds.

On 23 October 1931 at the register office, St Marylebone, London, Huxley married Sheila Alice Katherine King. When the British Broadcasting Corporation interviewed him in 1934 for its 'In Town Tonight' program, he became the first speedway rider to broadcast on radio.

In his eleven years as a speedway rider on a range of different manufacturers' machines, Huxley had only one serious accident. He left speedway racing in 1937 and opened the British Motorcycle Co. in Brisbane. Mobilised in the Militia as a lieutenant on 5 August 1941 he trained motorcycle dispatch riders. His appointment terminated on 5 February 1945 and he returned to his motorcycle business, retiring in 1957. He kept few trophies and never sought any publicity. Despite being a star in his day, Vic Huxley remained throughout his life a modest and simple man. Three months after the death of his wife, he died on 24 June 1982 at Kangaroo Point.

Thanks to 'Speedway - The Pre-war Years' by Robert Bamford [ISBN 0 7524 27490]

Read more of Vic's career here: