The former doyen of the Brisbane bookmakers ring Jack Kelleher has died aged 89 after a short illness.
Kelleher was the longest serving metropolitan bookmaker in Brisbane, plying his trade for about 52 years before retiring about a decade ago.
He was originally a miner who came to Brisbane in the 1950s to work on a tunnel construction and stayed at Ascot near the Eagle Farm racecourse.
Kelleher fell in love with racing and took out a bookmaker’s licence which allowed him to work in the old “flat area” of Brisbane racecourses.
Over the years he worked his way to the rails in Brisbane where he fielded in a golden age of bookmaking, taking on some of the biggest punters in Australia.
Queensland Bookmakers Association President Peter Laird said Kelleher was highly respected not just by the bookmaking community but throughout the industry.
“Jack knew people from the racing world all over Australia and was someone whose opinion was very valued,” he said.