Set in the late 1930's, Dirk Bogarde plays Bill Fox, a local factory worker. Tired of his monotonous factory job Bill defies his parents' wishes and becomes a rider with his local speedway team. With the help of the team's manager (Sid James) Bill quickly becomes a fans favourite with his daring riding. He marries Pat but the marriage becomes strained as she is worried about the dangers of Bill's riding. Bill then unsuccessfully takes on the speedway team management to win better terms for the riders. With the outbreak of World war 2 Bill has few friends and a failed marriage. Bill returns from the war a changed man and has to choose between saving his marriage and recapturing his speedway stardom.