THE popular punter and tipster Graeme Dand has sadly died of cancer at the age of 40.
Dand was diagnosed with terminal bowel cancer in June last year and has been tracking his ‘journey to the end’ on his Twitter account.
In a series of heartbreaking posts on May 16, Dand, who wrote under the @theformanalyst on Twitter and used to write a blog for Colossus Bets, described how it was nearly ‘time to say goodbye’.
He said: “Getting weaker by the hour. Body fighting it but cancer killing me by the minute. Not in any pain, just slowly fading away.
“Totally bed bound, can’t get up for anything. Legs given in with many more bodily functions.
“Thanks for all the love and support the last 10 months, kept me going but now is the time to say goodbye.
“I’ll miss you all and please try to take one good trait I have and take in into your lives to enhance it.”
And on Wednesday evening, a tweet from his account confirmed that he had passed away at 7.05pm – just an hour before a race was due to be run in his honour at Ripon.
The ‘Thank You Graeme Dand @theformanalyst Handicap’ was won by 100-30 favourite Gullane One at 8.30pm.
The winner was backed by Dand’s mates after on-course bookie Mike Eckley offered them a £100 free bet on the race.
They will donate the winnings to the Just Giving page that was set up to support Dand’s young family.
Over £17,000 has been raised so far, smashing the original target of £2,500.
There was an outpouring of grief on social media from many in the racing industry after the news of Dand’s passing was announced.
Coral’s James Knight tweeted: “Graeme was a very rare person who lit up Twitter with his amazing outlook and sense of humour through the darkest of times.
“He’s the only person I have ever seen on here who has united everyone behind him – and I think it was because he made us all want to do better. Rest in peace.”
Former Racing Post editor Bruce Millington said: “Such sad news. Sending love and best wishes to Graeme’s family.”
While Sky Sports Racing broadcaster Alex Hammond posted: “This is terribly sad. What an inspiring man and a beautiful family. Sending love to you all.”
Donate to Graeme’s Just Giving page.
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