1969 UK & Ireland Greyhound Racing Year

The 1969 UK & Ireland Greyhound Racing Year was the 43rd year of greyhound racing in the United Kingdom and Ireland.[1]

1969 UK & Ireland Greyhound Racing Year
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Roll of honourEdit

Major Winners
Award Name of Winner
1969 English Greyhound Derby Sand Star [2][3]
1969 Irish Greyhound Derby Own Pride [4][5]
1969 Scottish Greyhound Derby Not held [6]
1969 Welsh Greyhound Derby Pallas Joy [7]
Greyhound Trainer of the Year Phil Rees Sr.
Greyhound of the Year Cals Pick
Irish Greyhound of the Year Own Pride


The Greyhound Racing Association (GRA) granted an option to Stock Conversion and Investment Ltd, for the purchase of greyhound racing's premier track White City Stadium for redevelopment. The official line was that a new modern White City stadium would be built in the remaining four acres from the existing 16 acres. However reporter Neil Martin stated "this move must spell death to all sport there in time – and in my opinion greyhound racing too". Fellow reporter John Bower had a different view, in that it would create a wonderful new stadium, a view seemingly given substance by the GRA, who announced that the architects plans were already drawn up.[8] The GRA then announced that New Cross Stadium had been sold for development and it was closed in April. The GRA Property Trust was culling tracks at an alarming rate within the industry.[7] [9] They did however buy a large part of Wimbledon Stadium after a prolonged battle with developers attempting a takeover bid.


The list of greyhound tracks closing continued to grow. Park Royal Stadium, owned by London Stadiums Ltd, literally closed overnight on 22 January.[10] Greenfield Stadium, Bradford closed, becoming the third site in three months to shut down; the final meeting was held on 5 March after being bought by Morrison's for redevelopment as industrial units. Aberdeen closed and was converted to a supermarket and warehouses. Former NGRC track Rochdale also closed.[9] [10] Corbiewood Stadium opened to greyhound racing.[10]

Hackney Wick Stadium and Hendon Greyhound Stadium both received Bookmakers Afternoon Greyhound Service (BAGS) contracts replacing New Cross and Park Royal. New Cross trainers Charlie Smoothy and John Shevlin joined Clapton Stadium and West Ham Stadium respectively.[9]


The 1,000 Guineas switched to Hendon Greyhound Stadium from the closed Park Royal Stadium.[11] Tony's Friend lifted the Grand National at White City, in addition to the Scottish Grand National and set up a sequence of fourteen consecutive wins before being beaten. Tony's Friend continued his winning ways, lifting the Grand National of the West at Gloucester & Cheltenham Stadium but he was a little lucky because the leader fell at the first hurdle; that leader was a new hurdler called Sherrys Prince.[10] [11]

Yellow Printer continued to set special times and recorded 28.38 seconds when winning the Sir Billy Butlin Stakes at White City.[11]

With little warning the Scottish Derby at Carntyne Stadium in Glasgow which was due to run on 30 August was cancelled, it would never be run at the track again.[12][13]


Pigalle Wonder died during the first days of January aged nearly thirteen.[14] The National Greyhound Racing Club changed the rule whereby parties could be represented by legal counsel at steward's inquiries.[15] The Greyhound Express was published for the last time on 8 November. The Sporting Life would take over the sponsorship of the Juvenile from the Express.[16]

Wembley trainer Ronnie Melville retired, which led to Tom Johnston Jr. switching from West Ham and Jim Singleton taking Johnston's vacated post at West Ham. The sports current top trainer John Bassett left Clapton to take break from greyhound racing. H.R.H the Prince Edward, Duke of Kent became a greyhound owner after acquiring Peaceful Glen who was put with Joe Pickering at White City.[9] [11]

Portsmouth trainer Charlie Curtis, brother of George Curtis was killed in a car crash.[9] [11] The WGRF (World Greyhound Racing Federation) was formed.


The Irish Greyhound Board purchased Cork Greyhound Stadium for £127,500.[4] Sand Star won the English Greyhound Derby but lost out to Own Pride for the Irish Greyhound of the Year, the latter had won the Irish Greyhound Derby.[17] It was also the last Derby to be held at Harold's Cross Stadium.[18]

Principal UK racesEdit

+Track record

Principal Irish racesEdit



  1. ^ Fry, Paul (1995). The Official NGRC Greyhound Racing Yearbook. Ringpress Books. ISBN 186054-010-4.
  2. ^ Dack, Barrie (1990). Greyhound Derby, the first 60 years, pages 129/130/131/132. Ringpress Books. ISBN 0-948955-36-8.
  3. ^ "1969". Greyhound Data.
  4. ^ a b Comyn, John. 50 Years of Greyhound Racing in Ireland. Aherlow Publishers Ltd.
  5. ^ Fortune, Michael. Irish Greyhound Derby 1932-1981. Victory Irish Promotions Ltd.
  6. ^ Hobbs, Jonathan (2007). Greyhound Annual 2008, pages 153-154. Raceform. ISBN 978-1-905153-53-4.
  7. ^ a b Genders, Roy (1975). The Greyhound and Racing Greyhound, page 320. Page Brothers (Norwich). ISBN 0-85020-0474.
  8. ^ "GRA grants option to Stock Conversion and Investment Ltd". The Greyhound Magazine. 1969.
  9. ^ a b c d e Genders, Roy (1981). The Encyclopedia of Greyhound Racing. Pelham Books Ltd. ISBN 07207-1106-1.
  10. ^ a b c d Barnes, Julia (1988). Daily Mirror Greyhound Fact File. Ringpress Books. ISBN 0-948955-15-5.
  11. ^ a b c d e Genders, Roy (1990). NGRC book of Greyhound Racing. Pelham Books Ltd. ISBN 0-7207-1804-X.
  12. ^ Barnes, Julia (1991). Daily Mirror Greyhound Fact File, Vol Two. Ringpress Books. ISBN 0-948955-61-9.
  13. ^ Barnes/Sellers, Julia/John (1992). Ladbrokes Greyhound Fact File. Ringpress Books. ISBN 0-948955-22-8.
  14. ^ "Hall of Fame". Greyhound Board of Great Britain.
  15. ^ ""New Greyhound Inquiry Rules." Times, 3 Dec. 1969, p. 15". Times Digital Archive.[permanent dead link]
  16. ^ ""New Greyhound Inquiry Rules." Times, 3 Dec. 1969, p. 15". Times Digital Archive.[permanent dead link]
  17. ^ Dick, Barrie (1990). Greyhound Derby, the first 60 years, pages 129/130/131/132. Ringpress Books. ISBN 0-948955-36-8.
  18. ^ Fortune, Michael. The 75 Years History of the Irish Greyhound Derby. Irish Greyhound Review. ISSN 0332-3536.
  19. ^ "Remember When - October 1969". Greyhound Star.