One of Newmarket's best loved characters, former jockey Willie Snaith, dies aged 91
One of Newmarket's best loved characters, former jockey, Willie Snaith, died early this morning at West Suffolk Hospital. He was 91.
The Pocket Hercules as he was dubbed during his racing days had been ill for some time.
His son, John, said: "Dad loved every minute of his life and he loved people, whether you had £10 million in your pocket or a pound to dad you were all the same. His friendship was unconditional."
Born in Gateshead Willie served his time as an apprentice jockey in Newmarket with Sam Armstrong.
He married Silvia, the daughter of trainer R A Jones and the couple spent more than 60 years together. Silvia died nine years ago.
Such was his enduring popularity in Newmarket Willie had a road named after him and in 2015 was called upon to open the town's new branch of Tesco, a task he performed with his usual relish.
He leaves two sons John and Derek and a daughter Helen.
A full obituary and tribute will appear in the Journal on Thursday.