William (Bill) Longley


"The Mighty Atom"

Bill Longley was an Australian speedway motorcycle champion who thrilled crowds in both England and Australia between 1939 and 1954.

His first win was at Phillip Island at the Australian Sidecar Grand Prix in January 1936 and then the Australian Grass Track Sidecar Championship at Warragul Racecourse where he competed in the all-powers and up to 600cc classes.

During WWII Longley and fellow team mate Cecil Garland performed war work as mechanics in an aircraft factory.

During his career he was known as the “Mighty Atom” and also 'The Nerve Wrecker' after his successful English season in 1946 when his thrilling race style wowed the crowds. He returned to Australia in November 1947 as part of the British Speedway Team. By 1949 he was racing for the Australian team in their triumphant win after team mate Jack Biggs took the fourth test winning the match 55 to 53 and clinching the series for Australia.

Longley was a talented rider who competed in speedway, grass track and side car racing.

SIDECAR CHAMPION WILL COMPETE. (1936, August 27). The Advertiser (Adelaide, S.A. : 1931-1954), p.7. 

SPEEDWAY RIDERS DOING WAR WORK. (1940, April 4), The Courier-Mail. (Brisbane, Qld. : 1933-1954), p.10.

BILL LONGLEY FOR SPEEDWAY. (1947, November 12). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1956), p. 31.

TO JOIN BRITISH TEAM. (1947, November 1). The Mirror (Perth, W.A. : 1921 - 1956), p. 21.

AUSTRALIA WINS SPEEDWAY TEST AND RUBBER. (1949, August 29). Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Qld. : 1878-1954), p.8.

Northcote Leader, 23 August 1977