tipster Stan Agate, who has died aged 84, kept News of the World
readers in the know, bookmakers on their toes and his colleagues
laughing for more than 30 years.
He was Pegasus, the racing writer and tipster in the days when the paper was selling more than six million copies.
joined the racing staff in 1960 from the Greyhound Express and we soon
dubbed him the Punter’s Pal because of his ability to tip winners,
which was fully recognised when he won the prestigious Sporting Life
trophy as the top newspaper tipster.
But he was much more than a
very successful sports journalist. Stan (“I’ve been rich, I’ve been
poor. Rich is better”)n had a crack for every occasion and everyone.
In an age when characters abounded in Fleet Street, Stan still stood out.
One of his trademarks was the battered old briefcase that accompanied him most of the time.
usually contained an equally scruffy looking pair of binoculars, a
clean shirt and a bottle of champagne…” For emergencies. You never
know,” he would confide.
Pegasus officially retired in 1986 but
carried on working with the racing desk when the News of the World
moved to new technology at Wapping. He finally put his racing books
away in 1992.
Stan is survived by his wife Rene. His funeral was held in Kingston on 27 June.