'The Richie McCaw of speedway' - Tributes flow for motorsport legend Ivan Mauger

The motorsport world has paid tribute to Kiwi legend Ivan Mauger, after the speedway legend died at the age of 78 yesterday.

Christchurch-born Mauger won 15 world titles in total during his career, mostly in the 1970s, along with countless other events and enjoyed international celebrity status.

Mauger's daughter Debbie Pritchard led the messages, taking to Twitter to reflect on her father's life.

"You knew him as "Ivan" & I truly respect that I really do, I was so lucky & privileged to know him as Dad, how lucky we all were," she wrote.

Speedway New Zealand chief executive John McCallum offered a touching tribute to Mauger - whom he dubbed a "megastar".

"No-one dominated the world like Ivan did. In footballing terms, he was the Pele of speedway."

"There is no one else that achieved what Ivan has and he did it as a proud Kiwi. He never forgot the fact he was a New Zealander."

"He was a pioneer in professionalism ahead of his time," Speedway Great Britain tweeted.

Mauger's former neighbour told NZME that the former champion was the "Richie McCaw of speedway."

Mauger is survived by his wife, Raye, son, Kym, and daughters Debbie and Julie."

New Zealand's Ivan Mauger, regarded by many as the world's greatest speedway rider after winning six individual world championships, died at the age of 78. Source: 1 NEWS