Industry mourns loss of Willie Frew.
Byline: Michael Fortune
WILLIE FREW, trainer of legendary sprinter Ravage Again and a highly respected figure in greyhound racing circles, died yesterday following a long illness. He was 81.
After extending his winning sequence for Frew to 23, Ravage Again subsequently enjoyed a successful spell with his longtime friend Terry Dartnall and achieved widespread acclaim for his assault on Ballyregan Bob's then-world record of 32 consecutive wins.
Dartnall said yesterday: "Willie was the loveliest and nicest man you could meet. What he did with Ravage Again will never be matched. It should have been recognised as a world record sprinting performance - it will never be beaten.
"As an engineer he was second to none. His company did all the balustrades at Rangers Football Club, for instance. He made the nicest stainless steel table at my kennels, and all the kennels door. He was a man above men.
"Willie also had a fantastic sense of humour. Not many people knew he had four fingers on one hand after an an industrial accident. He used to tease my kids when they were younger asking them to count the fingers on his hand he put up. They'd bet five. He'd always get the money.
"He was a huge Rangers man too, so much so that his wife Sheena wasn't allowed to wear anything green! He was the last of his type, they threw away the mould when they made him."
Leading Irish trainer Paul Hennessy was another close friend of Frew for many years and travelled over to Scotland last week along with wife Susan to visit him in hospital.
"He was a great friend of the family and he stayed with us regularly on his trips to Ireland," he said. "We based our dogs in Scotland with him over the years and he and Sheena were a lovely couple. Willie was a great influence on a lot of people and the man from Kilmarnock was a living legend. We extend our sympathies to Sheena and to his sons Graham and Allen and the grandchildren."
Pat Buckley also stayed with the Frews on some of his Scottish trips. He said "He was a lovely man and he couldn't do enough for you. He was also a great judge of a greyhound and will be sorely missed."
Ravage Again, who was purchased for PS5,500 by Frew VVCONTINUES page 98