'Extraordinary life' of Preston North End owner and three-times Grand National winner Trevor Hemmings is remembered at a memorial service

Football, horse racing, charity, business and family came together in Leyland to honour the memory of Trevor Hemmings who died in October at the age of 86.

By Dave Seddon
Friday, 26th November 2021, 9:12 am
Updated Friday, 26th November 2021, 3:47 pm

A memorial service was held on Thursday at St Andrew's Church, it being to celebrate his 'extraordinary life' as the order of service stated.

Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal was one of the guests, having known Mr Hemmings for many years through his charity work.

Members of Preston North End's first-team squad and coaching staff attended the service to remember the club's owner, with members of the horse racing community there to remember the three-times Grand National Winner.

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Five tributes were read representing business, PNE, horse racing, the charity community and on behalf of family and friends.

It was a service filled with good memories and humour, tinged with sadness that the businessman and philanthropist was being mourned by his family.

Reverend David Whitehouse conducted the service at St Andrew's, the church right in the heart of Leyland close to where Mr Hemmings attended school and then set up business all those years ago.,

Rev Whitehouse said: "We are meeting in sadness but also in thanksgiving to celebrate the life of Trevor Hemmings.

A memorial service was held to remember Trevor Hemmings

"His work ethic and good humour and of course the ever-present flat cap are a reminder that Trevor never strayed far from his roots."

Television presenter Clare Balding addressed the service on behalf of the horse racing community.

One visit to Royal Ascot with Mr Hemmings was one which stuck in her mind.

Balding said: "We were in the royal box at Ascot and he wore his cloth cap underneath his top hat. That was Trevor.

St Andrew's Church

"First and foremost, Trevor loved his horses. He was in it for the horses, he looked after them like members of his family from beginning to end.

"He would always be on the look out for a horse who could go to Aintree and win.

"His approach to racing was always 'let the horse go out and enjoy itself and come back safe'.

"Trevor was the only man to have owned a Grand National winner, a Cheltenham winner and an Olympic medal winner.

"High Kingdom was part of the GB team which won a silver medal at the London Olympics in 2012.

"The world of racing loved Trevor Hemmings."

Sir Brian Stewart, who was a director at Scottish and Newcastle with Mr Hemmings for a number of years, spoke of the tycoon's 'hyper-drive' and ability to relate people.

Addressing the service on behalf of PNE, director Peter Ridsdale said: "They broke the mould when Trevor Hemmings was born.

"His love of football started as a young boy in London when his father would take him to watch Charlton Athletic.

"Mr Hemmings' first official association with Preston North End was in 1973 when he joined the board. His emotional and financial involvement continued until the day he died.

"He took the leap of faith in 2010 to but the club and for the last 11 years he worked tirelessly to run the club. He never stopped working and expected the same from you.

"If you worked hard for him, he would look after you."

Carole Cochrane worked alongside Mr Hemmings for many years at the Carers Trust and later at the Rainbow Hub.

Speaking about his charity work, the majority of if done quietly under the radar, she said: "He liked to help people, he wanted them to have a better life.

"With the Carers Trust we worked together so that carers could get a free holiday and have a well deserved break.

"Trevor would turn up at those weekends so he that could see what needed to be done next, what else he could do.

"We once had five young carers from Belfast come across to watch Preston North End. It was the first time they had been to a football match, been on a plane, been out of Belfast.

"That was down to Trevor Hemmings, he made that happen."

Long-time family friend Roger Hughlock spoke at the service on behalf of friends and family.

"Trevor was a very kind man, quick witted, highly driven and importantly never forget where he was from," said Mr Hughlock.

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