Vale Des Illingworth

Friday 30 October 2020

The Tasmanian Greyhound Industry mourns the loss of Mr Des Illingworth.

Illingworth is synonymous with greyhound racing here in Tasmania with both Des and his late father Ollie integral members of the administration in Tasmanian greyhound racing.

Des was Tasmania’s representative at National Coursing Club of Australia conferences and played a major role in many big changes to our sport. He established a completely new rule book in 1976 and then again in the late 1980s taking the best components from National rule books.

When Tasmania’s track went from grass to sand, Des made sure the same sand that was successful in Melbourne was used here. This sand he found at Hadspen. He was also instrumental in bringing the Bramich Lure to White City and later to Hobart.

Under Des Illingworth’s guidance, Tasmania finally fell into line with the other States with reciprocity of rights between States, thus short-circuiting much of the red tape involved when dogs moved interstate. This he did in his first three months on the job!

With Clem Hoggett’s assistance, Des secured Sky Channel coverage for Tasmanian Greyhound Racing in the 1980’s and this before the other two codes here secured the same. He was also at the forefront of introducing a travelling subsidy (no longer in play) for trainers travelling to race out of their area.

The L.G.R.C. introduced a new race to the Tasmanian calendar in 1991 — the Illingworth Classic, which recognizes the enormous input of the father and son Illingworth’s and as long as there is racing in Launceston there will be the Illingworth Classic.

In the 1992 Australia Day honours Des Illingworth received The Order of Australia for his marvellous service to Greyhound Racing.

He was also made a life member of the LGRC in recent years and in 2008 was inducted to the Tasmanian Greyhound Racing Hall of Fame along with his late father Ollie.

Des passed away peacefully surrounded by his family.