Ralph Hoare is a name known to many in the racing world as being Britain's oldest racing fan but the sad news coming out of the sport is that the 110 year old has sadly passed away.
The regular punter and frequent race goer in his time enjoyed one final and fantastic moment by making a return to the 2018 Cheltenham festival at the age of 109.
Hoare sadly passed away in late January in his Gloucester home, not to far away from the track he loved at Cheltenham racecourse.
Before his passing, and near 11 months to the day he made his way down to the Cheltenham Festival to be a guest of the course and watch the days action on the Friday of Gold Cup day.
The racing fan had lived an incredibly long life seeing two world wars, England win the World cup and some very special moments in horse racing history and before his passing spoke to the Racing Post.
(Credit Racing Post) Hoare said: My grandparents and aunts always had a glass of ale for supper. Aunty Bessie used to take a jug to the local pub and get it filled. She came back from one of those trips crying her eyes out. I asked her what was the matter? 'Terrible news,' she said. 'Kitchener has drowned. Worse than that, I've dropped the jug and we haven't got any ale for supper.' I've told that story more than once."
Hoare reached the milestone of 110 years on earth back in July 2019 and expanded on many other things he has seen in the racing world during his life span.
Living in Gloucester Cheltenham was very accessible for the punter and he made his way down for many of the great races during the festivals existence including watching all three of Arkle's Gold Cup victories.
He was an avid fan of the flat racing scene with a keen interest in John Gosden's horses and liked a flutter from time to time.
(Credit Racing Post) Ralph's daughter Kate Hughes said: "My father died peacefully in his sleep. He was compos mentis and interested in sport until the end. His last words to my brother were: 'What was the Plymouth Argyle score on Saturday?'"
Looking back on his last day out to the Cheltenham festival, she added: "I would say it was the most exciting and eventful day of his year. He was up at 8am and didn't flag all day. At 11pm I had to suggest he might like to go to bed. He was tired the next day though!
"The paparazzi were in touch the whole journey there to make sure they caught the moment of arrival and, with a bit of help, his knees stood up to the test of mounting the steps for his grandstand view of the finishing line. He enjoyed the sound of the Cheltenham roar once again and backed three winners and two second places, coming away with about £3.50 profit.
"Throughout the day he was asked to pose for photos, but the most memorable one was with Jack Kennedy, the youngest jockey on the course – their handshake spanned the 91 years between them."