Vale Tasmanian racing legend Des Illingworth

Jane Howlett,Minister for Racing

A stalwart and legend of Tasmanian greyhound racing, Mr Des Illingworth OAM, passed away last week leaving behind an extraordinary legacy.

Des provided many decades of valuable service and leadership to the greyhound racing industry in Tasmania, particularly as an administrator. Des’ service was recognised in 1992 through the awarding of an Order of Australia.

Des is also a member of the Tasmanian Greyhound Racing Hall of Fame, a status also bestowed on his father Ollie Illingworth.

After RAAF service during World War II, Des began working in greyhounds in 1946 and would go on to hold many positions including as Chairman of Stewards, of Secretary of the National Coursing Club of Tasmania and Secretary of the Tasmanian Greyhound Racing Board.

He was responsible for the establishment of a new rule book in both the 1970s and 1980s and also led the way in the transition of the State’s greyhound track surfaces from grass to sand as well as the installation of new modern lure systems.

Des was also integral to providing valuable national profile for Tasmanian greyhound racing by ensuring Sky Channel covered races from the 1980s.

My condolences to his much loved wife of more than 70 years, Audrey, his children and his extended family.

Des will be dearly missed, but his contribution to the State’s greyhound industry and the broader Tasmanian community will never be forgotten.

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