Jack Fitzgerald

Jack Fitzgerald was born in 10th November 1899, “Fitzie” as he was known is considered to be one of Australia’s best sprinters, he entered the wheel sport in 1921 and won the double A.N.A Wheelrace and the Christmas Stakes at the Melbourne Exhibition Track.
Quickly rising to the top of his profession and winning the Australian Championships and breaking numerous records, he created a sensation in 1922 winning the famous Austral Wheelrace being the only rider to win this time honoured race from scratch on a banked track.
During the 1928-29 season at the Sydney Velodrome, he won the National and all-round Sprint title.
In February 1930 at the Brisbane Velodrome, the Australian Professional Sprint Championships were held and Fitzgerald had an eye on breaking the Australian record for the quarter of a mile (flying start), the current record was 28 seconds held by R. Broadbent from Victoria and Fitzgerald made a successful attack and reduced this to 23 Seconds. Fitzgerald rode a Massey Harris bicycle and in 1930 joined the staff at “Massey Bicycle and Sports Depot, Brisbane where he gave advice and specialized service in the sales of these bicycles.
Fitzgerald continued with success at many racing meets and in 1932 he suffered a bruised hip during a fall, he was later admitted to hospital with blood poisoning which had resulted, he was operated on and made a full recovery and back to racing, at this time Fitzgerald held three world records, quarter mile (flying start); quarter mile (standing start) and the last furlong and was also holder of the Australian ½-mile and Tasmanian and Queensland 10-mile records.
Fitzgerald had taken sponsorship with the Malvern Star team.
Fitzgerald travelled around the world and competed in America and France; in France he won 26 scratch races in succession, defeating all the leading continental riders. Jacks younger brother Tom Fitzgerald in 1953 won at the Essendon boards against Sid Patterson by inches to win the famous annual “Austral” mile; the race had 213 entrants and prize money of £150.

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