Funeral takes place for speedway champion John Louis

John Louis
John Louis was described as "a true speedway legend never to be forgotten" [Stephen Waller]

The funeral of a former British motorcycle speedway champion John Louis has taken place.

The 82-year-old, known as JL, was born in Ipswich and joined the Ipswich Witches in 1970.

He led the team to a league title in 1975 and became British champion in the same year.

James Easter, a former joint team manager, and speedway promoter, who attended the memorial, said his death was a great loss and added: "He did so much for speedway in general."

A funeral programme for John Louis
John Louis was born on 14 June 1941 and died on 5 April 2024 [Steve Huntley/BBC]

Speaking about the service, he said it was an "incredibly moving occasion" and it was "lovely to see some of the old boys there and the team giving their respects."

He added: "In the 70s he was bigger than any footballer, JL was top of the list.

"He was a Suffolk boy, an Ipswich boy and people loved him for that.

"He was one of the three John's who made Ipswich Speedway: John Louis, John Berry [and] John Earrey - now all three of them have gone but the memories haven't."

The funeral cortege for John Lous
John Louis' funeral took place on Saturday morning at Seven Hills Crematorium, Ipswich [Steve Huntley/BBC]

His son, Chris Louis, a promoter and director of the club, said his father would have been happy for people to have attended his funeral and then rush to see Ipswich Town at home, in the game that took them back into the Premiere League.

"Dad would have said, 'you go and support your local team', that's what it's all about," he said.

During his career JL finished third at Wembley stadium in one of his four appearances in the world championship finals.

Following his retirement from speedway racing he became a promoter at Foxhall stadium - home of the Witches - before retiring from the role in 2019.

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