Few opponents could catch Split Waterman, one of the finest motorcycle speedway racers of his generation, on two wheels. He later made headlines for a ride to East Sussex in a Triumph Herald car when he was stopped from boarding a ferry to France and customs officials made a dramatic discovery.

The daredevil streak that had served Waterman so well on the track was put to more dubious use after his retirement from speedway, as a judge at the Old Bailey observed when Waterman was sentenced to four years’ imprisonment for smuggling gold and guns.

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