Where Have All The Bookies Gone?

Times have changed

Trevor and Eric Denman learning the ropes at Clairwood while Ernie Duffield called the race

Where are all the Durban Bookmakers of the 70’s and 80’s?

We received the question from Australia earlier this week, so did some research, courtesy of that mine of memorabilia and yesterday’s racing, Selwyn Elk.

Barry Dunnett dropped us a line from Down Under.

He moved from Durban to Australia 18 years ago, but says that he still has ‘a peek’ at what’s happening on this side of the world.

Barry suggests that it may be an impossible ask, but he would love to know what all the Durban bookmakers of the 70’s and 80’s are up to.

“There was an incredible vibe at the races when those guys were around. Have you any idea where they are? I see there has been a huge move to having ‘corporates’ your way – fewer individual bookmakers. Interesting enough, we don’t have off course bookmakers linked to say pubs here in Australia – you either field on course or have an internet presence which is massive here. Then there is BETFAIR the exchange which is huge here too.”

1975 Gr1 Rothmans Durban July Handicap

1975 July winner Principal Boy

We asked Selwyn Elk for some assistance and are throwing it open for public comment as there are no doubt readers who will have additional information to throw into the pot.

“This is really going down Memory Lane but here goes,” says Selwyn

He says that sadly the following Bookmakers from that the 70’s & 80’s have since passed away.

  • Des Becker
  • Clyde Becker
  • Willie Becker
  • Val Grantham
  • Scotty Taylor
  • Tommy Morgan
  • Monty Solomon
  • Hugh Freeman
  • Bob Riley (Emmanuel)
  • Norman Phillips
  • Charles Cohen
  • Som Singh
  • Ian Aspen
  • Morris Schneidermann
  • Lovell Jennings
  • Hilly Jacobs
  • Martin Smith
  • Arthur Bowman
  • Jack Morris
  • Vic Lee
  • Walley Centner

Yataghan – 1973 Rothmans July

Selwyn adds that as far as he knows, these are the whereabouts of the remaining Bookmakers from the 70’s and 80’s:-

  • Michael Ratner   –  Immigrated to Israel years ago
  • Keith McLean      – Living in Newcastle
  • Dennis Freeman  –  Joined up with SuperBet
  • Tubby Luckan     –   Working at Hollywoodbets
  • Morris Vinik       –   Has a Tattersalls in Bayview
  • Hilton Lissack   –   Living in George
  • Michael Airey    –   Recovered from a bad motor car accident a few years back
  • Gerrit Oosthuizen  –  Living in Bloemfontein
  • Gary Lee            –  Living in Cape Town
  • Michael Lee     –  Living in Cape Town

“If there are any more memories anybody is interested in from that era, just let me know,” concludes Selwyn.


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