Roy Dockery, a truly great Australian and greyhound racing devotee for over 80 years, passed away at 1am Sunday, aged 97.
Dockery was among the most loved patrons at almost every Wentworth Park meeting from the end of World War II until a fall late last year prevented him from attending the sport he loved so much.
Born on August 2, 1921, Dockery enlisted at the outbreak of the War and served his country in New Guinea until he was repatriated home after contracting scrub typhus, a common disease in the tropics.
When he recovered, Dockery, instead of opting for an easier life, volunteered for a second tour of duty, this time in Borneo.
Dockery attended his first greyhound meeting at Wollongong as a 15-year-old, hitch-hiking from Sydney and, with under 18s prohibited from greyhound and harness racing, dug a hole under the fence so he could launch his life-long passion for the sport.
The NSW GBOTA recognised Dockery's patronage in 2018 with the Roy Dockery Anzac Stakes, which was won by Nando's Thunder, trained by Caroline Hughes and her partner Glen McKinley.
Hughes and McKinley were so impressed with Roy, they purchased a trophy on his behalf, had it engraved, and presented it to him at a subsequent WP meeting.
"He was so proud of that trophy and it took the prime position on the mantel-piece in his room,'' daughter Robyn Dockery said.
Sadly, Roy was unable to attend the 2019 Anzac Stakes named in his honour, and his daughter Robyn presented the trophy to connections of the winner, the Natina Howard-trained Zipper Shoes.
This year also marked the first occasion on which Roy was unable to attend the Anzac Day march.
There will be a minute's silence for Roy Dockery at Wednesday night's Wentworth Park meeting.