Leading bookmaker Ladbrokes is today celebrating the career of one of its longest serving colleagues, Brian Chattaway, by naming a race after him at Goodwood tomorrow.
The 2.25 at Goodwood will be shown live on ITV Racing and will be called the Brian Chattaway Celebrating 50 Years At Ladbrokes Handicap.
Brian recently achieved a working milestone as he clocked up his 50th year as a Ladbrokes Legacy employee. After starting out as a clerk with a ledger and pencil in the South, Brian upped sticks and moved to Harrogate where he has become a legend in the betting community in the North.
Describing how he arrived in the role Brian said: “I’ve always loved greyhound racing as a punter – I’d wash cars and do two paper rounds to give me a bit of betting money.
“So when I saw an advert for a position at Ladbrokes, it proved irresistible. I started out working in the South, taking a six-week settling course for just £13 a week. Shortly after, I was promoted to assistant Ante-Post Manager, before finding my way into the role of Racecourse Clerk.”
During his career which has seen Brian travel the length and breadth of the country for work, he has made some incredible memories and witnessed some pretty historic racing moments, as he is happy to recount.
“There are too many great memories to list, but to name a few: Red Rum’s National victory in 1977, Frankel’s Juddmonte win at York and Michael Dickinson’s first five at Cheltenham were all stand-out moments. I also clerked for Derrick Smith, who became one of ‘the lads of Coolmore’,” he said.
From a young lad starting out in the industry, Brian has become an incredibly well respected figure in the racing community and the naming of the Goodwood race will not be the first time Brian has been in the limelight, regularly winning the coveted best dressed award at various race meets and he has been dubbed ‘The Magic Sign’ on the Northern circuit by TV pundits. As Brian explains however, Saturday’s race will be ‘a very proud moment indeed.’
For Brian, working at Ladbrokes has always been more than just a job. He added: “My wife always tells me ‘you haven’t done a days work in your life – it’s your hobby!’. I suppose the only bad part of the job is the travelling.
“I’ve probably driven 25-30 thousand miles a year in the last 45 years! But that’s just given me more opportunity to meet a number of fantastic characters and work with tremendous colleagues. After 50 years, I’ve still got the same enthusiasm for the job and for racing.”