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Sad loss to Suffolk speedway as former Witches and Mildenhall team manager Ron Bagley passes away

PUBLISHED: 17:26 08 February 2018 | UPDATED: 17:40 08 February 2018

October 1975. Ipswich Witches won the division one championship with a mainly local line up. With the trophy at Foxhall Stadium are (from the left standing) Australian Billy Sanders, Mick Hines (from Elmset), Ron Bagley the team manager from Ipswich, Tony Davey (Framsden), Ted Howgego and Trevor Jones (both Ipswich). Kneeling are (from the left) Mike Lanham, John Louis and Dave Gooderham (all from Ipswich).

October 1975. Ipswich Witches won the division one championship with a mainly local line up. With the trophy at Foxhall Stadium are (from the left standing) Australian Billy Sanders, Mick Hines (from Elmset), Ron Bagley the team manager from Ipswich, Tony Davey (Framsden), Ted Howgego and Trevor Jones (both Ipswich). Kneeling are (from the left) Mike Lanham, John Louis and Dave Gooderham (all from Ipswich).

Former Ipswich Witches team manager Ron Bagley has died.

Bagley was a huge part of the success of the Witches during their halcyon days of the mid-70s, when the Witches won the League twice and the double in 1976.

Alongside promoter John Berry, the Suffolk side were one of the most feared in the country, Bagley the superb team boss and highly regarded among the team and fans.

Later, he went on to be team manager of Mildenhall Fen Tigers when they won the National League title in 1979.

Current Mildenhall Speedway promoter and former Ipswich Witches star, Kevin Jolly, paid tribute.

“Ron was a real character,” Jolly said.

“He signed me for Ipswich when I was a 17-year-old and guided me throughout. He was a brilliant bloke and it’s a huge loss.

“He was a great manager at Ipswich and of course then went onto manage Mildenhall with success.”

Bagley started his speedway career at his home town track in 1958 and was given his debut by promoter Aub Lawson in the Witches side in 1959 when they had a season of Southern Area League racing.

He packed up racing in the mid-60s before Berry and Joe Thurley reopened Ipswich for Second Division racing in 1969.

Ron was the ideal man to lead an inexperienced line-up and for three years provided solid second string scoring to a developing Witches side.

He retired riding at the age of 34 but will always be remembered for the manager of the Witches in their glory years in the mid-1970s, as well as having a spell as promoter at Workington.

Ron made an appearance at Mildenhall in 2015 at the club’s 40th anniversary.

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