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Regional daily’s ‘legendary’ horseracing writer dies aged 78

Jimmy Walker, left, carries out a post-race interview

Jimmy Walker, left, carries out a post-race interview

A motorcycling and horseracing writer who became a legendary figure in Northern Irish journalism has died aged 78.

Jimmy Walker worked for the Belfast Telegraph for more than 40 years, serving as horseracing correspondent and also as deputy sports editor.

He received awards for his services to Northern Ireland racing from Down Royal and Downpatrick in 1996.

Jimmy, who had been suffering from a long-term illness, was also a highly respected motorcycling correspondent for the paper covering all the biking greats such as Joey Dunlop.

Tributes poured in from the sporting world following his death.

Belfast Telegraph Group Sports Editor Jim Gracey said: “It is very sad news about Jimmy. He was a hugely respected sports journalist.”

Robert Dunlop’s mechanic Liam Beckett said: “Very sad news that legendary motorcycle journalist Jimmy Walker has passed away.”