2003 Lord Lipsey is unveiled as the new chairman of the BGRB. The former journalist and economics expert immediately sets out his three major aims:

1) Agreeing an improved deal with off-course bookmakers

2) Securing the best from the gambling bill and welfare bill.

3) Restoring the status of the BGRB.

Tom Kelly of the bookmakers trade organisation the ABA said: “I think this is good for greyhound racing. Lord Lipsey is an influential guy, a mover and a shaker. We’ve always had a good relationship and I look forward to doing business with him.”

1945 Due to a mechanical defect of the hare, the entire meeting at West Ham, which included the Cesarewitch final, is lost. Special dispensation from the NGRC allows the 1945 decider to be staged in early 1946.

1991 Henlow follow Rye House in charging trainers an admission charge to race at the track.

1933 December Mrs P Green buys a fawn 1931 puppy by Hertford out of Heathfield. The youngster, named after a rising German politician, races at Clapton and was trained by G Williams. The dog’s name … Hitler.

1998 William Hill, the newest sponsors of the Derby announce a deal with SKY and GRA for a 15 meeting Tuesday night package of meetings for 1999, to include the Derby Final which was not televised in ’98.

1994 Paddy Milligan, joint organiser of the annual awards night at the Park Lane Hilton informs the BGRB that the event is unsustainable. The turn out has fallen from 700 to 350 and is expected to fall further.

2002 Gary Cathern relinquishes his trainers licence two months after being granted a contract at Crayford. He blames financial difficulties.

1959 December On Christmas Day, Jimmy Jowett, the Clapton trainer, is exercising four greyhounds at the Claverhambury Kennels when they turn and savage him. He is taken to St Margaret’s Hospital, Epping, where he is detained, but reported to be fairly comfortable.

1993 Hove trainer Eric Jordan is evicted from his Lowland kennels. Headman Terry Townsend takes over.

1974 The traditional Boxing Day meeting at Catford, featuring the Cobb Marathon Bowl final over 790 yards has a great line-up: T1 Drish Forever, T2 Pitmans Brief, T3 Westbrook Quinn, T4 Silver Sceptre, T5, Euro-Kid, T6 El Gaucho. The race goes to R A Young’s Silver Sceptre at 9-4 in 46.27. Sceptre easily beats Pitmans Brief at 2-1 by 6 1⁄2 lengths. The evens favourite Westbrook Quinn is fifth.

A week after Some Picture wins the Select Stakes in England, Cape Prince lands the Irish equivalent at Shelbourne Park. The Eddie Wade trained runner beat Spiral Nikita by two lengths in 30.59 for the 550 yards to collect a first prize of £Ir2,000. The field also featured: Wise Plan, Best Seller, Pepes Dilemma and Airmount Rogue.The presentation attracted the good and great of Irish racing and politics.

l-r IGB Chairman Paschal Taggart, Irish President Mary Robinson, owner Michael McEllistrim, Agriculture Minister Jimmy Deenihan, Mrs Eileen McEllistrim and trainer Eddie Wade – photo Steve Nash