Vale Bill Wade

Vale Bill Wade

Legendary Newcastle jockey Bill Wade passed away aged 91 at the Amaroo Aged Care facility at Charlestown on Thursday morning. Wade had been at Amaroo for eight years and entered the facility following the death of his wife Olga.

The former champion jockey was inducted into the Newcastle & Hunter Racing Hall Of Fame alongside his son John in May 2019. Bill was apprenticed to Maitland trainer Harold Judge when 15 years of age. He was born at Bellbird near Cessnock and he rode his first winner on September 28,1946. He rode 1723 winners and his lone Group 1 win was aboard Nagpuni in the 1954 Doomben 10,000.

He won 13 Newcastle Jockeys Premierships, three Grafton Ramornie’s and a Grafton Cup.

Wade had a life-threatening fall at Grafton in 1965 and after three months out of the saddle, he returned to ride 18 winners in 18 days. In July 1972 Bill had a bad fall when galloping a two-year-old in between races at Gunnedah. He never rode again.

Bill Wade is survived by his daughter Sue Skeen and son John, seven grandchildren and seven great grandchildren. Sue was the NJC’s marketing manager for 10 years while grandson Sean works at the NJC as bar / storeman.

RESPECTED: Newcastle jockey Bill Wade in 1971. Picture: Barry James Gilmour