Tribute to Speedway legend Peter Craven ahead of Memorial event in Manchester

This weekend sees the annual Peter Craven Memorial event at the home of the Belle Vue Aces, the National Speedway Stadium in Manchester.

Peter Craven was a speedway rider who rode for the Belle Vue Aces for more than a decade and was also a double World Champion. Known as the 'Tom Thumb of Speedway' due to being only 5 feet tall, he won his first title in 1954, just six years after his first go on a speedway bike.

Peter Craven on tractor being driven by Norman Wisdom Credit: Rob Craven

He won his second world title in 1962, but a year later, died in hospital after a crash on a racetrack in Edinburgh.

Peter was just 29 and left behind him his wife Brenda, their six year old son Robert, and two year old daughter Julie.

58 years since his death Peter Craven is still widely regarded as one of the best speedway riders there ever was.

He inspired another Belle Vue Aces legend, Peter Collins, who was eight years old when he saw Peter Craven, which made him want to take up speedway. Collins became Speedway World Champion in 1976.

Granada Reports journalist Claire Hannah has been speaking to Peter Collins about his hero.

Ahead of the memorial event, Peter Craven's family shared some rarely seen family photos of Peter, which show the family man behind the speedway rider.

Peter Craven and his son Robert Credit: Rob Craven

Peter's wife Brenda also shared some stories about him, including him being given treatment to a leg injury by none other than Liverpool manager Bill Shankly.

She also told ITV Granada Reports Peter was always the last one out of any race meeting because he signed autographs for "anyone who wanted one and would speak to anyone who wanted to speak to him".

Peter Craven with his family Credit: Rob Craven

The Peter Craven Memorial Event takes place at the National Speedway Stadium in Manchester on Saturday.

It is the Belle Vue Aces flagship event, the meeting will feature a 16-strong, all-star field of riders.