Tuesday, October 26, 2021
HomeOtherEditorialJustice for Gary Wiggins

Justice for Gary Wiggins

-

Garry Wiggins
Gary Wiggins.

It’ll be nine years, this January since we ran our Gary Wiggins obituary.

Wiggins, father of Knight of the Realm, current World Hour Record holder, reigning Olympic Team Pursuit Champion and former Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins, died in hospital in Newcastle, New South Wales the day after an ‘incident’ in Muswellbrook the previous day.

At the time the facts surrounding his death were unclear; traffic accident, a fall and an ‘altercation’ were all mentioned as possible contributory factors to his death.

But Wiggin’s senior’s sister, Glenda Hughes – Sir Bradley’s auntie – has recently launched a campaign to expose the truth behind her brother’s demise at 55 years-of-age.

The big, raw boned Australian was for several seasons one of the Six Day circuits star names with a win in Bremen, a podium in Munich – ‘the world championship of Six Days’ and a win in the European Madison championship all partnered by England’s Tony Doyle.

However, Wiggins’ life after his racing career ended was nowhere as much of a success and back in Australia he slid into a round of casual jobs and hard drinking.

The first question to ask Glenda Hughes is the obvious, ‘why now ?’

Her answer was immediate and unequivocal;

“Iit didn’t seem right to bring it all up when Bradley was at his peak with the Tour de France and Olympics but things are much quieter in his career now and it’s time we established that my brother’s death was no accident; I’ve lost my father too and enough time has passed – it has to be sorted.”

Eyewitnesses have been few and those that have been questioned have been exposed as unreliable but what is known is that Wiggins was lucid and alert throughout a taxi ride from his home in Muswellbrook to Aberdeen to visit a house party there – this much was confirmed by the taxi driver who chatted to his passenger throughout the fare.

Glenda Hughes takes up the story;

“The inquest established that there was very little alcohol in Gary’s system – but in that house he was badly beaten up and then dragged out into the street and dumped there to die; we think they hoped a car would run him over and that would be accepted as cause of death.

“But a car passed, beeped it’s horn, he got to his feet, God knows how, and was found outside the local cemetery the next morning at 05:30 am, rushed to hospital but passed away.”

Two suspects in the house who were questioned by the police but no charges were brought, Hughes continues;

“It was established that one of them had lied and the other invoked his right to silence and wouldn’t speak.

“Unfortunately the first prosecutor who was involved with the case suffered a heart attack and had to withdraw from it – he was going to take the case on – but he was replaced by a younger man who would not pursue it, for whatever reason.

“The local media have since reported that both of the witnesses were police informers and that’s why no charges have been brought.”

Wiggins’ injuries were horrific, Hughes explains;

“The coroner said that after he was beaten he was dragged out to the street, his head banging off every one of a flight of concrete stairs down to street level before he was dumped on the tarmac.”

Dissatisfied with the explanations she was being offered Hughes journeyed to Aberdeen;

“I was walking down the street with my daughter when I saw a girl approach and I just had this feeling that I had to speak to her so I asked my daughter – who’s a smoker – to ask her for a light.

“She looked at me and said; “on my God ! you’re Gary’s sister, aren’t you?”

“I said that I was and was there anything she needed to disclose – she explained that two men, she named as ‘N’ and ‘D,’ had picked up Gary from the road where he lay and dragged him up to the cemetery where they beat him again – that explained how he got there, which I couldn’t understand, given his injuries.”

The Australian Media has given the affair mixed reactions as Hughes explains;

“There was a writer on the Herald Sun who used to do a piece each year on the anniversary of Gary’s death but that stopped when he left the paper.

“I contacted the Australian TV programme ‘A Current Affair’ but they’ve been told not to touch it.”

The case remains ‘open’ and can be re-investigated; Hughes ambition is to have the case re-opened by petitioning the New South Wales Premier; thus far several hundred have signed her petition but she needs as many signatures as possible to overcome the inertia around the case.

She can be reached via the Gary Wiggins Justice petition on Change.org.

The British tabloid newspapers haven’t been kind to Gary Wiggins with all sorts of lurid tales about his cycling career; but the man was a pioneer, a European Champion when six day racing was a tough, fast sport run before sell-out crowds across Europe, not the shadow of its former self it has become.

‘Justice for Gary Wiggins’ does not seem like an unreasonable demand in light of all of the above.

Ed Hood
Ed's been involved in cycling for over 45 years. In that time he's been a successful time triallist, team manager, and sponsor of several teams and clubs. He's also a respected and successful coach, and during the winter months can often be found working in the cabins at the Six Days. Ed remains a massive fan of the sport and couples his extensive contacts with an inexhaustable enthusiasm for the minutiae and the history of our sport.

Related Articles

The Time Capsule: Colby Pearce – An American Team in the Six Days

The experienced American rider Colby Pearce was one of the guys looked after by Kris, Martin and Ed at some of this winters' Six Days, including the recent event at the Ballerup Stadium in Copenhagen. Having raced at elite level on the track at the Olympics, at World Cups and in the World Championships, as well as being a National Champion 14 times and holder of the US Hour Record (50.191), together with a spell working as the US Track Coach, Colby had seen most of what track cycling had to offer. One element was missing though: Six Day Racing...

Patrick Sercu

After a long illness, former Olympic Champion Patrick Sercu, holder of 58 other titles at World, European and National level, undisputed Six Day king with 88 wins and Tour de France green jersey, passed away today, 19th April in Belgium.

Rotterdam Six Day 2012 – Day Two

It's not a proper Six Day unless it's a marathon to get there - and really you should arrive in a different country. My journey to the Rotterdam Six Day 2012 meant a super-early start, Transit van to West Craigs, cab to Edinburgh airport, plane to Amsterdam, train to Rotterdam, Metro to the Ahoy Stadium - then walk across the road.

Berlin Six Day 2012 – Day Three

'Just Another Tequila Sunrise,' it's ironic that the covers band who kick off as soon as the racing finishes at gone 01:00AM aren't half bad - but it's time for me to disappear down the tunnel to hang up the washing etc. etc.

Copenhagen Six Day 2010 – Day Six

Wednesday morning in the camper van, long straights of grey motorway tarmac through a flat, snow blanketed landscape, minus three, no sunshine, just more grey above us; in all the times I've worked at the Copenhagen Six Day 2010 Six, I don't think I've ever seen the sun.

Havik and Van Schip top the Copenhagen Three Day

From the very first chase there was little doubt about who was in charge of the Copenhagen Three Day 2020; Dutchmen Jan Van Schip and Yoeri Havik were the strongest men on the track. In the recent UCI World Cup in Milton, Canada Van Schip won the Omnium then teamed up with Havik to win the Madison – so we knew they were on form.

At Random

Le Tour de France 2014 – Stage 7; Épernay – Nancy, 233 km. Matteo Trentin – Just!

QuickStep, you have to respect them.
 
They lost Cav but they've been contesting the sprints as if he was still here, with Renshaw grabbing places of honour.
 
And today again Kwiatkowski was there in the finale - yesterday he tried a 'long one' for himself, today he set it up beautifully for Matteo Trentin.
 
 Patrick Lefevre has seen it all; a good pro himself, he won Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne in his day, he manages to run a glossy, modern team which at the same time doesn’t forget that the sport belongs to the people.

Le Tour de France 2009, Stage 4: Montpellier > Montpellier, 39km TTT

The team time trial here in Montpellier, it’s beautiful; speed, strength, skill, trust, unity, honour — everything that makes pro bike racing special.

Danilo Di Luca Scores Again at Montevergine and Reclaims Pink

The Giro's pink and Liquigas' green - that's the gaudy colour combination that characterises this first week of the Giro d'Italia. "The Killer", Danilo Di Luca's strong sprint took him to Giro success again in yesterday's Stage 4, finishing at Montevergine di Mercogliano.

The VV View: Politics and Cycling

Politics and Cycling... I did a Vuelta preview the other day; I mentioned the Castilian (Spanish), Basque, Catalan and Galician languages.

KBC Driedaagse van De Panne-Koksijde 2007 – Day 4

It's a split stage today for the Driedaagse, 119 kilometres in the morning, then 11 kilometres contre la montre in the afternoon. The morning stage means an early start all-round and at 09.05 the bunch rolls out of De Panne, it's parky but sunny.

Tri Changing Gear Summer Series, Event 2

This 16 Mile Time Trial at Garlogie saw a cold, breezy, but dry night. Ray Wilson did a good ride for the night. Colin Duncan of organising club Tri Changing Gear was an excellent second, pushing Ali Watt of Granite City RT into 3rd place by 4 seconds. Colin always rides well on hard/hilly TT courses.