The last great untold story in British horseracing. Barney Curley – punters’ hero, jockeys’ friend, bookmakers’ nightmare and the Jockey Club’s bete noire. For years this Irish phenomenon has refused all media offers. Now he is ready to tell the full story of his colourful life.
Curley is the bane of the racing establishment, never afraid to confront authority, even at the risk of jeopardising his own career, for the good of the small punter.
In his autobiography, he recalls all the famous adventures that have made him part of horseracing folklore: the celebrated ‘Yellow Sam’ sting of 1975; how he was jailed for running an illegal lottery but released on donating £10,000 to charity; his campaign against the Big Three high street bookmakers; his disqualification from racing; and how he lost £250,000 on one race in an unforgettable day in 1982.
But there is also the human side to his story. Beyond the racing world he talks openly about how he watched his father go broke through gambling, and, in a moving account, recalls the tragedy of the death of his son, Charlie, in 1996. He intends the book to be much more than just an account of a career in horse racing.
Barney Curley is an intensely private man and much of his life is shrouded in mystery. But he has decided that the time is right to discuss his life in this colourful and compelling autobiography.