Roy Gill was born in Kingston-upon-Thames, Surrey, in 1938. His father Reg was a milkman (horse-drawn cart of course) but in his spare time was also an illegal bookmaker – at their local racecourse, Epsom, licences were sometimes overlooked and Reg often worked on the Hill.
Racing was an integral part of family life, but it was not until he was 12 years old that the young Roy was allowed to accompany his father to the races. From that moment he was hooked.
After boarding school and a stint in the Royal Navy, Roy embarked on a career in bookmaking, learning the ropes at the London School of Turf Accountancy. Every spare moment was spent visiting racecourses, at first in England and eventually round to the whole of the UK and Ireland.
The journey that began at Epsom in 1955 was completed at Tralee in 1992 when he had visited every racecourse under Flat and National Hunt rules, making a total of 107 meetings.