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Dorset bookmaker and winning owner Parsons dies at the age of 78

Tony Parsons: marked his 65th birthday with a winner at his beloved Windsor
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Dean Ivory has paid tribute to "lovely man" Tony Parsons, a bookmaker and racehorse owner who has died at the age of 78.

Parsons was a third-generation family bookmaker who was based initially in the St Albans area of Hertfordshire but more recently in Christchurch, near Bournemouth. He had ten shops in Dorset when he retired.

He had horses with Ken Ivory and then his son Dean, who said on Sunday: "He was a lovely man, it's very sad for us all.

"He knew his horses and he was very generous to all the members of staff. Even if he did not have a winner he was one of those guys who would be very generous when he came to visit the yard. He looked after the staff, and anything I wanted for the horses was fine; there were never any ifs or buts. The horses always came first."

Dean Ivory: greatly saddened by Parsons' death
Mirasol Princess and Jools both won for Parsons this century and Ivory recalled: "The nicest thing was that Jools won at Windsor on Tony's 65th birthday.

"He hired two or three rooms and had all his friends and family there. Richard Quinn got him up on the line and it was fantastic. Tony used to love going to Windsor, he'd come up with the family from Christchurch."

Parsons leaves a wife, Anita, and three children, Gary, Lisa and Craig.

The funeral will be at 3pm at Bournemouth Crematorium on Monday, July 3. Family flowers only, with donations to the Willow Foundation, Parsons' favourite charity.

He looked after the staff and anything I wanted for the horses was fine, there were never any ifs or buts

Key data

Dean Ivory T Quinn