The racing industry is mourning the passing of one of the legends of horse racing in NSW, Mr Gowan Williams who died on Tuesday at the age of 79.
“Gowan Williams was a person who worked hard behind the scenes and was a real quiet achiever,” said Mr Peter V’landys, Racing NSW’s Chief Executive.
“He represented what’s great in our industry as he was a person that put his heart and soul into racing and never sought any reward or acknowledgement.
“Needless to say, we are very saddened by Gowan’s passing and our sincere condolences go to his family and friends.”
Gowan Williams pioneered the development and maintenance of computerised form and comprehensive details for race meetings conducted around the state in the 1970s, when horse racing form was a combination of written records and cards.
He was widely respected and admired by all with his dedication, accuracy to detail and willingness to assist anyone for the betterment of the sport.
One of Gowan’s close friends, Rod Fuller said: “Gowan provided services and assistance to every thoroughbred racing club in the state incorporating racebook data, records, results and statistical analysis.
“The compilation of information was also provided to jockeys, trainers, media representatives, stewards, officials and punters with this relationship providing many wonderful friendships over the years.”
Gowan also distributed the popular Aimer Racing Weekly – a compilation of every race meeting conducted in NSW over the previous week until the final edition in January 2018.
“Gowan was an accomplished race broadcaster over the years at tracks like Nowra, Bathurst and various non-TAB and picnic meetings,” Mr Fuller recalled.
“His passion for calling stemmed from working with the great broadcaster Des Hoysted at Harold Park harness racing on a Friday night for Radio 2UE.
“The mutual respect and long-term relationships he established with household names in the sport including Ian Craig, John Tapp, Bert Lillye, Max Presnell and Ken Callander were something Gowan cherished, and there would not be a broadcaster or media representative who hasn’t been assisted in some way by his knowledge and expertise.
“Gowan was a loyal and generous man in so many ways and many of his efforts were done without payment and for the benefit of racing.
“On many days Gowan would be still working until early in the morning to make sure everything was correct and checked off with Racing NSW, AAP and Racing Australia.
“A passionate South Sydney follower for most of his life, there was no prouder man than Gowan when the Bunnies returned to Redfern with the 2014 NRL premiership.
“Deteriorating health over the last couple of years prevented him from continuing and his passing brings the curtain down on a wonderful man dedicated to his passion for racing in this state.”
Gowan now joins his wife and soul mate, Jeanette, and is survived by daughters Kerri and Kandi, their brother Stuart, and the extended Williams family. Funeral details are to be advised.