The last great untold story in British horse racing. Barney Curley – punters’ hero, jockeys’ friend, bookmakers’ nightmare and the Jockey Club’s bete noire. For years this Irish phenomenon has refused all media offers, until now.
Curley is the bane of the racing establishment, never afraid to confront authority, even at the risk of jeopardising his own career, for the good of the small punter.
In his autobiography, he recalls all the famous adventures that have made him part of horseracing folklore: the celebrated ‘Yellow Sam’ sting of 1975; how he was jailed for running an illegal lottery but released on donating £10,000 to charity; his campaign against the Big Three high street bookmakers; the raffle of his mansion which nearly led to a prison sentence; his disqualification from racing; and how he lost £250,000 on one race in an unforgettable day in 1982.
But there is also the human side to his story. Beyond the racing world he talks openly about how he watched his father go broke through gambling, and, in a moving account, recalls the tragedy of the death of his son, Charlie, in 1996. He intends the book to be much more than just an account of a career in horse racing.
Barney Curley is an intensely private man and much of his life is shrouded in mystery. Now a wider audience can discover his secrets and an insight into his eventful life with this mass market paperback.
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'A gem of a book from one of the turf's most fearless punters.' The Racing PostAbout the Author:
Barney Curley was born in County Fermanagh. He managed three Irish pop groups, including the first Irish showband singer to get into the British Top Ten. He also trained as a Jesuit priest but contracted tuberculosis at the age of 21 and spent a year in a sanatorium. He is involved in many causes for charity, including raising money for Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital, and Direct Aid For Africa (DAFA) which he formed with Frankie Dettori.
Nick Townsend has been a journalist for 25 years, eleven of them as a horse racing and soccer writer for the Daily Mail and, more recently, the Independent on Sunday. He is a trusted friend and confidant of Barney Curley.
“A gem of a book from one of the turf’s most fearless punters.” Racing Post
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Book Description HarperCollinsWillow, 1999. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110002188287