The racing journalist community came together yesterday to pay their last respects to Ray Gilpin, who has died at the age of 72.

The former Press Association, Racing Post and Racing UK correspondent died from a lengthy illness on August 8 and his funeral was held at Harrogate Crematorium.

Originally from Wrexham, he also worked for North Wales Newspapers and the Birmingham Evening Mail in more than four decades in the industry.

Ray Gilpin

Ray Gilpin

In a eulogy, racing journalist Tom O’Ryan described Gilpin as “part of the furniture” of the press room.

He said: “Brusque, serious and sometimes cantankerous, but always with a ready twinkle in his eye and a mischievous sense of humour, Ray Gilpin was a stalwart of the press room, part of the furniture. He was the ageing comfy chair in the corner, and, truth be told, its only when they’re no longer there that you miss them and value them even more.

“Mourn his passing if you wish, but also celebrate his life. Ray Gilpin crammed plenty into his 72 years. He did a job he loved all his working days. Racing was, most certainly, richer for his presence and is that bit poorer now.”

Former Press Association racing editor Steve Till added: “Ray was one of the great characters of the press room, especially in the north where he was based.

“He was a brilliant journalist and well known for his trademark red scarf. In my eyes, he was a terrific man.”

The top jockeys’ award at this week’s Ebor Festival at York has been named in honour of Gilpin.