In Memory of Dr. Carlo Biagi
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Dr. Carlo Biagi was born in Maybole, Ayrshire in 1924. He died the 13th of June 2006 in Clovenfords, Scottish Borders. Below are news accounts of his life and career as a noted surgeon.

A bone surgeon who salvaged the careers of top speedway riders has died at his home in Clovenfords at the age of 81. Carlo Biagi was dubbed the 'miracle doctor' by injured stars a nickname he never accepted. His patients included Ove Fundin who won the 1963 World Championship wearing a plaster created by the orthopaedic expert who was based at Peel Hospital near Caddonfoot. Mr Biagi was the track doctor at Scottish speedway circuits for decades and was one of the few non-riders to be given a testimonial meeting at Powderhall in Edinburgh where he was presented with a gleaming new Rover car. He was honorary surgeon to the British Speedway Association. Mike Hunter of the Edinburgh Monarchs club commented: "A long list of riders made their way north to consult him and there are many riders who thought their careers were over due to injury only to find that Carlo was able to resurrect their careers." Mr Biagi saw war service in Belgium and Palestine and qualified from Edinburgh Medical school. He joined Peel Hospital in 1956 and served the Borders until he retired in 1989 becoming a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons and collecting an MBE on the way. John Philips, the consultant orthopaedic surgeon at the BGH said: "He provided invaluable support to his colleagues and in particular several generations of junior doctors whom he freely advised and who regarded him as a father figure in the hospital." Mr Biagi also served as medical officer to Gala RFC and the Elderado Wrestling Club in Leith. (15 June 2006  From Borders Today. http://www.borderstoday.co.uk/ Article by Bob Burgess. )

Speedway mourns the sport's 'Miracle Doctor' THE man who gained the reputation as the "Miracle Doctor" of speedway has died. Carlo Biagi, who was track doctor for the Capital's speedway side the Edinburgh Monarchs from 1965 to the late 1990s, was well known across Britain and was one of the most respected doctors in the sport. He worked for the Monarchs towards the end of the time that they were based at their original stadium, Old Meadowbank, and was also with them through their time at Powderhall. He had a testimonial event at Powderhall in 1981 when he was presented with a car, although he kept working for the club for many years after the event. Many riders had fought back to fitness after the help of Dr Biagi, and Ove Fundin won the 1963 World Championship wearing a plaster created by him. Mike Hunter, a director at Edinburgh Monarchs, said: "He performed what seemed to be miracles for many riders and he was well renowned throughout speedway. If anyone had an injury anywhere in Britain then Carlo would be the first man they would call. He was an interesting and good humoured man and very modest - he never wanted to be called the Miracle Doctor, it was others that labelled him it. "I saw him at an event in Glasgow earlier this year and he had not changed at all, although he was a little more infirm. When he came into the bar everyone wanted to talk to him." Dr Biagi, from Maybole in Ayrshire, is the father of the Taggart actress Leigh, and his son Simon was an occasional presenter on This Morning.  (From www.Sport.scotsman.com Tuesday 13 June 2006)

Comments on article:

 

A fantastic man who was ready to help anyone. His skills will never be forgotten. No matter how busy he was he had time to advise on a medical condition and be able to tell a consultant what needed done to sort it out. Carlo will be sadly missed by all who knew him. A sad day for speedway another great passes away. Our thoughts are with Carlo's family.
Rodney, Annette, Deborah and Graham.

I remember the doctor from years ago, and yes he did perform many miracles, he will be sadly missed, my thoughts go to his family. Alex, Lochend Edinburgh

We would just like to thank everyone for their kind comments about our dad. He loved speedway and we have fond memories of our trips to Powderhall. We would like you all to know that dad passed away peacefully in his own home with us by his side surrounded by speedway pictures and memorabilia. Biagi family, Clovenfords Leigh, Simon, Mike and Alida

All Carlo's speedway pals in Scotland, especially fellow members of the Veteran Speedway Riders' Association (Scottish Committee) are saddened at the news. Carlo was right up there as our number one choice as our first ever guest of honour and he will be fondly remembered by us all. We each could fill a book about our times with Carlo and we will all remember him for our own special reasons. Carlo had the knack of making everyone feel good in his company.  Speaking personally, I had the pleasure of being Clerk of the Course with Carlo as track medic at Powderhall, Shawfield, Armadale and Linlithgow. It was reassuring to the lads who were genuinely injured were in such good hands --- but woebetide the malingerers. Jim Henry Secretary of the VSRA Scottish Committee

Obituary for Carlo Biagi
Consultant orthopaedic surgeon
Born: 8 August, 1924, in Maybole, Ayrshire.
Died: 13 June, 2006, in Clovenfords, Scottish Borders, aged 81.

IN 1959 a young registrar from Southampton General Hospital was asked to stand in as track doctor at a local speedway meet. At that meeting a rider was killed. The fledgling doctor vowed he would never return. In spite of his avowal, he continued his involvement and 20 years later he was appointed honorary medical officer to the Speedway Association. Carlo Biagi's career as "miracle doctor" for the sport of speedway had begun.

Carlo was born in Maybole, Ayrshire, the younger of two sons, to Italian immigrant Amos Biagi. He attended George Watson's College in Edinburgh where he achieved sporting success in rugby and athletics and to this day holds the record for the longest throw of a cricket ball. He left the relative security of his education and immediately threw himself into the maelstrom of the Second World War, enlisting, with typical recklessness, into the Commando regiment. Carlo saw active service in Holland, France, Belgium and Germany. He received the French and German stars and was mentioned in dispatches. After the war he served with the Paratroop Regiment in Palestine.

When he was finally demobbed from the army, he followed his older brother, Bill, into medicine and began his training at Edinburgh University, graduating in 1954. There followed periods of work at the Royal, Chalmers and Leith hospitals in Edinburgh and also his beloved Peel hospital in the Borders to which he was to return, in 1964, for the rest of his working life as an orthopaedic consultant. But, in the intervening decade, Carlo discovered speedway and speedway discovered him.

At Southampton in 1959, now newly married to glamorous, young actress Bridget Claire, Carlo met and became close friends with many of the speedway riders he was to patch up over the years; Barry Briggs, Ivan Mauger, Ronnie Moore, Peter Craven and many others. Days before the 1963 world final, Ove Fundin broke some bones in his foot and his chances of riding at Wembley looked slim. He visited Carlo who devised a special cast that not only enabled Ove to ride, but helped him to win the title with 14 points. Another young rider, Bob Duckworth, crashed at a Southampton meet one night and all but severed his foot on the fence. Carlo Biagi set to work right there and then to save the foot with such success that the rider was eventually able to continue racing for many years to come.

Carlo's move to the Scottish Borders in the1960s did not deter the steady stream of riders making the pilgrimage north to seek his advice and ministrations. On many occasions, a rider would be told by his local hospital that the injury he had sustained was irreparable, career ending or at best would require months of recuperation, only to receive a very different prognosis from Dr Biagi. Carlo respected and perhaps identified with the courage shown by the professional sportsmen who came under his care. He admired their dedication and did everything possible to support them in their determination to ride against the odds. Many a medical colleague of Carlo's would remark that one rider or another should barely be out of bed never mind riding around a circular track, at high speed, on a bike with no brakes.

His medical skills extended further to the field of rugby and he was for many years one of the two doctors who provided medical cover for Galashiels club. There were very few Sunday mornings when players were not phoning to report injuries, minor and major, sustained the day before. Eventually he was appointed an honorary vice-president of the club.

More recognition followed. In June 1981, the Speedway Association held a testimonial meeting in his honour at which Carlo was presented with a brand new Rover car as an expression of gratitude for all the work he had done for them over the years.

In 1982, Carlo was awarded an honorary fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons - a tribute normally reserved for distinguished international visiting surgeons and almost unheard of for a surgeon at a small hospital such as Peel. In 1990, he was presented with an MBE at Buckingham Palace for services to orthopaedic surgery.

In 1988, Peel hospital closed and Carlo moved, with the rest of the staff, to the brand new Borders General Hospital. While he appreciated that it was the inevitable march of progress that brought about the change, he missed the sociable, intimate atmosphere of Peel. A year later, at the age of 65, Carlo retired to pursue his hobbies of gardening and model-ship building.

Carlo was a gifted surgeon and an instinctive healer. Many owe a huge debt of gratitude to him, and he became legendary among the speedway fraternity as the "miracle doctor", a title he was the first to dismiss with his characteristic humility. However, his undoubted appeal stemmed from his lack of self importance. He treated everybody the same and seldom, if ever, played the status game. He was a much loved man.

Carlo Biagi is survived by his wife, Bridget, and their four children.

(From the www.scotsman.com 26 June 2006)