Top award for ‘voice of racing’

Graham Orange with his Tribute book surrounded by representatives of Go Racing In Yorkshire (from left) John Sanderson, Sophia Monkman (Thirsk), Caroline Smith  (Redcar), Mark Spincer (Doncaster), Fiona Needham (Catterick), John Sexton (Go Racing In Yorkshire chairman), Norman Gundill (Pontefract) and Sally Primarolo (Beverley). Missing from the photograph are William Derby (York), James Hutchinson (Ripon) and Jonjo Sanderson (Wetherby).
Graham Orange with his Tribute book surrounded by representatives of Go Racing In Yorkshire (from left) John Sanderson, Sophia Monkman (Thirsk), Caroline Smith (Redcar), Mark Spincer (Doncaster), Fiona Needham (Catterick), John Sexton (Go Racing In Yorkshire chairman), Norman Gundill (Pontefract) and Sally Primarolo (Beverley). Missing from the photograph are William Derby (York), James Hutchinson (Ripon) and Jonjo Sanderson (Wetherby).
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Graham Orange, the voice of Yorkshire racing for almost 30 years, was almost left speechless when he was named Yorkshire racing personality of the year at the Go Racing In Yorkshire annual lunch at York.

It was a total surprise to the man whose voice has been heard on every Yorkshire racecourse for over a quarter-of-a-century, but who is drawing stumps on his career by taking retirement after the Lincoln meeting at Doncaster next March.

Drawing stumps is an appropriate metaphor as Orange, a qualified cricket coach and umpire, hopes to devote a little more time to that sport in the future.

Graham got a standing ovation from the audience of 125 guests as representatives of all nine member racecourses, who make up Go Racing In Yorkshire, gathered on stage.

John Sanderson, who actually interviewed Graham for the job in 1982, and Pontefract supremo Norman Gundill, who has been in the Go Racing In Yorkshire board since its formation, paid tribute to Graham and presented him with a specially-produced Tribute book.

There was even more to come as Stephen Atkin, Chief Executive of the Racecourse Association, had travelled from their headquarters in Ascot to present Graham with a lifetime RCA badge which will allow him to go racing anywhere in Britain.

And members of the Press corps in the room gathered on stage too to present Graham with a framed photograph of the mighty Frankel, signed by jockey Tom Queally.