The racing industry is mourning the passing yesterday of one of NSW’s most popular bookmakers, Mr Tom (Hugh) Patton.
Mr Patton, 89, was a legend in country racing with the Wagga bookmaker quietly going about his business for more than 50 years.
He started off as a bookmaker’s clerk in 1956 before becoming a bookmaker in 1961, fielding on harness racing and on thoroughbred racing some nine months later.
Tom was honoured by Murrumbidgee Turf Club with the annual running of the Tom Patton Cup at Wagga each April.
"I have always loved the races and first started my involvement with Wagga racing in 1942,” he said. Tom's son John (now 40) commenced his trade in 2005 and at the time was the youngest bookmaker in the Wagga region.
Mr Patton leaves behind his wife Eunice, his son, current Wagga-based bookmaker John, and daughter Julie.