Reg Harris: The rise and fall of Britain's greatest cyclist
By local author Robert Dineen
Reg Harris, whose statue overlooks the Manchester Velodrome, is the legend who all track cyclists want to emulate. He was a poor, working-class boy born in the Depression who escaped the Lancashire mills to utterly dominate his sport. He triumphed as world champion an incrediblefive times between 1947 and 1954 and performed medal-winning heroics at the London Olympics.
At his peak he was the most adored sportsman in the country attracting huge crowds, sponsorship, and the company of the rich and famous. But, fiercely driven and ruthlessly single-minded, Harris had a dark side. His was a sensational life fuelled by an insatiable need for money, celebrity, fast cars and beautiful women that constantly threatened to destroy him.
Following an exhaustive investigation, Robert Dineen has uncovered an epic sporting rise and fall - a story more astounding than anyone had known.