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Charlie Lister OBE retires at Nottingham


NOTTINGHAM and the GBGB honoured retiring Charlie Lister OBE with a special presentation on Monday.


The legendary trainer, having his finals runners as a licensed handler, was on hand to collect a framed ‘Roll of Honour’ which depicted all his major successes including those seven English and seven Scottish Derby successes.


Nottingham director Rachel Corden said: “We were delighted that Charlie chose to spend his last night as a licensed trainer here at Nottingham with his family and his loyal team of Chris (Akers) and Ian (Sutherland), as well as some of his owners. Charlie is a legend of the sport of greyhound racing and we were proud to acknowledge that.


“The Greyhound Board had a specially-made ‘Roll of Honour’ on hand - a great idea from senior stipendiary steward Paul Illingworth, incidentally - and, when you looked at the magnitude and breadth of Charlie’s achievements, it’s utterly amazing. Every success is a fantastic memory for him and very much part of greyhound racing’s own history.


“We wish Charlie a long and happy retirement, although he did ask if space had been left on the Roll of Honour - just in case he made a comeback! Either way, we hope to see Charlie here at Nottingham from time to time and have no doubt he’ll be keeping a watchful eye on Chris.


“Chris will train from Charlie’s kennels at Newark and has joined the Nottingham training team which we’re are all delighted about. It was also good to see Dave Baldwin (GBGB local stipendiary steward) back here to help make a presentation along with Paul (Illingworth) of a lovely engraved decanter set to Charlie after a race named in his honour.”


On behalf of the GBGB, Paul Illingworth explained: “We (GBGB) wanted to mark Charlie’s retirement with something special - and the ‘Roll of Honour’ seemed perfect. Charlie didn’t want any fuss made about his retirement but was in great form - especially when talk turned to a possible comeback! That was a great moment.


“It’s not until you see Charlie’s list of achievements that you really appreciate how special he was as a trainer. Indeed, on a personal note, I came into the sport during Charlie’s most prolific spell with greyhounds such as Some Picture, Spring Rose and Suncrest Sail dominating the open-race scene.


“Those greyhounds were a joy to follow and were a big part of me ‘getting the bug’ for greyhound racing as a young man. Like everyone else, we (GBGB) wish Charlie a long and happy retirement and we look forward to seeing him around when Chris (Akers) gets one in a major final. I’m sure that’ll not be long in happening.”