Racing journalist John Greensill clocked up more 50 years in the business, but never quite fitted the traditional mould.
The horse racing world is often characterised as being occupied by “colourful” types who lead mysterious existences and direct great energy toward finding a winner or a drink.
John, who died this week, worked in the Australian Associated Press’s Melbourne office over the past four years and certainly liked a winner, but more to talk about than to place money on.
And there was certainly very little mystery or boozing about JG.
John’s death at the age of 68 came as a surprise to those who knew him well, even though he had been ill for some time.
A most conservative and meticulous man, John prided himself on being thorough and accurate.
Apart from a sojourn in Canada, the major part of John’s journalistic career was spent at Melbourne’s famous Truth newspaper, again an aspect of his life that seemed to be a contradiction.
Truth was renowned for page three girls, salacious stories and a classified advertising section that featured the more exotic services available in Melbourne.
Anyone caught in possession of a copy of the paper, however, generally maintained they had bought it for its much-admired formguide.
It was the formguide and the racing stories that accompanied it that were John’s pride and joy.
After the demise of Truth, John did casual work in various areas of racing and became the fastidious “scorer” in the annual racing writers’ tipping competition – which he won more times than most.
John was a kind and gentle man who will truly be missed.