Mr Iain Duff

THE death has taken place of Mr Iain Robson Duff. He was 79.

A former registrar at Downpatrick racecourse, Mr Duff was born on August 6, 1940, in Castle Douglas, Scotland, with his family later moving to Dumfries after the war.

After leaving school, he joined the Royal Bank of Scotland, working in Scotland and London. While in his late 20s, he observed that his brother Les was having a better lifestyle in the RAF and he also joined up. 

While stationed at Ballykelly, Mr Duff he met his wife, Heather, and was posted to Cyprus, Shetland and Bishopscourt to name a few.

Following his retirement from the Air Force, he became registrar of Downpatrick racecourse, a job he loved. Mr Duff also managed Down Royal and Carlisle racecourses for periods during his tenure at Downpatrick. 

When he was appointed registrar, the future of the Downpatrick course was very uncertain. Eventually, as the reputation of the course improved, Mr Duff was responsible for overseeing the building of the grandstand, weigh room and bars.

He was also a committee member of Horse Racing Ireland and worked diligently with the Northern Ireland Executive to allow Sunday racing.

Mr Duff’s other interests included Queen of the South Football Club, gardening and golf at Ardglass. 

A member of Ardglass Golf Club since moving to Bishopscourt, Mr Duff held a number of roles within the club, including captain, greens convenor and, more recently, starter. 

He enjoyed the latter role immensely as he met fellow golfers from across the world and would always advise them to enjoy the course, but to do so in no more than four hours and five minutes.

Devoted to his wife Heather, children Alasdair and Caroline, son-in-law Sandy and daughter-in-law Claire, he was a loving grandfather to Holly, Ben, Flynn and Callum.

Mr Duff will be greatly missed by his family and many friends.