A loyal groundsman renowned for his "excellent attitude" and being "enormously popular" is retiring after 49 years of service at Salisbury Racecourse.
Michael Simmonds is leaving the Netherhampton ground after just shy of half a century on Monday, a day before he celebrates his 65th birthday.
Michael has never looked back after joining the Bibury Club as a trainee groundsman in 1966, as a 15-year-old.
Since then, he's worked on more than 680 racedays and completed in excess of 115,000 hours of mowing, strimming, preparing and repairing the course before and after racedays, cleaning, plumbing and other general maintenance duties.
Michael , who lives in Wilton, said: "I came up to look around one day back in 1966 and I've stayed here ever since. I have lots of memories and I will enjoy popping back from time to time to see everyone."
His contribution to the sport of horse racing was recognised in this year's annual Racecourse Association awards when he won the "Lifetime Achievement in Racing" category.
He will be presented with a memento by the Racecourse Association on a race day when racing returns next May.
Read the full article from the Salisbury Journal HERE