Obituary: Ex-Timeform chairman Reg Griffin

THE former chairman of Timeform, Halifax's world-renowned racing tipping service, has died aged 79.

Reg Griffin spent 50 years with the company before retiring in 2007.

He became chairman in 1989, after founder Phil Bull died, and was responsible for starting the Timeform Charity Day which has raised 4.5 million since 1971.

Mr Griffin, who co-owned several horses including Toogood To Be True, For Your Eyes Only and Opus Maximus, was a racing fanatic virtually all his life. He was born in Liverpool and the Grand National sparked his interest when he was just five years old.

At 18 he became a stable boy at a yard in Cheshire, three train journeys from his home. He would get up at 5am every Saturday to muck out stables but his reward was riding the horses after completing his duties.

He learned shorthand and typing while completing National Service to get a secretarial job at another yard but in 1957 he successfully applied for a job at Timeform.

He told himself he would stay for two years to learn the form book side of racing before moving on. After a fortnight he decided six months would suffice.

But 50 years later he was still there having completed roles as director, managing director and chairman of the firm.

The Timeform Charity Day was first held in Doncaster in 1971 and was attended by the Queen Mother whose horse Charlton won the day's principal race.

It was such a success the next year – and every June since – it was held at York.

After his retirement Mr Griffin said: "Racing has given me a wonderful passage through life."