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Levers last day of judgement.

Byline: Fleetwood Jones

DEREK LEVER, the Jockey Club's deputy senior judge, reaches retirement age of 65, after 35 years of service, when he officiates at Salisbury today, writes Fleetwood Jones. Lever first appeared on the part-time judging list in April 1971, officiating for the first time at Huntingdon, before he joined the full list.

Since then he has judged at every course in Britain, learning his trade initially with the senior judge John Hancock and later with his nephew Michael.

He recalled the Watership Down Sales race at Newbury last September as one of the closest events he has ever judged, saying: "In the old days it would probably have been a three-way dead-heat, but since the advent of top technology we were able to sort it out.

"I've enjoyed every minute and have agreed to stay on to help out on occasional dates."

Lever, who started life as a City stockbroker, has been a director of two football league clubs - AFC Bournemouth and Southend United - and also honorary secretary for the four home rugby unions.
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Sep 28, 2005
Words:176
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