Odds on for bumper sale – John McCririck items to be auctioned

Clothes, jewellery, large diamond rings and other items that belonged to the legendary horse racing journalist and TV personality John McCririck are to go under the hammer at auction.

The sartorially distinctive McCririck, known for his side burns, big cigars and track-side tic-tac delivery, passed away in July, aged 79.

His widow Jenny, whom he called The Booby, has decided to put some of his possessions into a sale at Rowley’s auction house in Ely, Cambridgeshire.

She said part of the reason was that she was worried thieves would target her because of the jewellery that her husband was famous for wearing.

Indeed, she has revealed that the reason his rings were joined together on a chain was that sometimes people shook his hand and tried to pull them off.

Horse-themed ring

McCririck loved a rock

Among the items are several large diamond rings, four or five watches – including an IWC one valued at £4,000-£6,000 – and a collection of cigars.

Cigars aplenty

Amongst the clothes are some distinctive headwear, footwear, plus jackets, and suits – most handmade for the pundit.

Taking the pith

Hat’s off

Formal headgear

One of McCririck’s distinctive hats

Another headwarmer

Funky footwear

Funky footwear

The sale is expected to raise £30,000-50,000.

In typical flamboyant style in jacket that is being sold

Some of MCririck’s clothes that are going under the hammer

McCririck was a multi award-winning journalist who worked for The Sporting Life, ITV and Channel 4, amongst others.

He also became well known amongst younger generations when he took part in various TV shows including Celebrity Big Brother, Wife Swap and The Weakest Link.

John’s widow Jenny said: “I only decided to sell the items because a friend asked me to go to a charity valuation day with her.

“I took some of John’s rings – he’d always said that if anything should happen to him I should get them valued.

“John told people they were rubbish because he didn’t want them stolen. People would shake his hands and try and take them – that’s why his rings were joined together with a chain.

“I was surprised to hear how much they were worth and I was worried about having them stolen – we suffered a burglary some years ago and it was awful.

“I decided to put the rings and other items in for auction along with some other items, and I’ve also donated some to Cancer Research.

“Other items have been donated to Palace House, the National Horseracing Museum in Newmarket, and are being exhibited there.

“One of the reasons John dressed as he did was to enable his cameraman high in the stands to pick him out at the trackside in the crowd.

“He had his clothes made; he was a big man and it was hard to find off-the-shelf clothes.

“He also enjoyed cigars and would often get the sound man to hold it while he did his piece to camera.

“John was a showman, it was a panto act; a business. Importantly, the punters knew he cared. If he thought there was something wrong in the racing world he would say so; he would always tell the truth.

“John was a multi-award winning journalist as well as a TV personality.”

A rare US race card

Inside the race card – annotated

Roddy Lloyd from Rowley’s said: “John McCririck was very much a larger than life character – he was also physically big so the clothes are huge.

“I first saw the rings at a local charity valuation day and then Jenny decided to sell some clothes and other items.

“John transcended the world of racing and his flamboyant style and distinctive look endeared him to millions.

“Because of their association with him, these items have added value and I am sure many from the world of racing will want a piece of this memorabilia.”

Some of the items are going on display at the  Palace House National Horsracing Museum in Newmarket from 8-29 November .

Palace House Chief Executive, Professor Steven Parissien, said: “John was an irrepressible enthusiast who was always odds on to be a popular favourite and a household name.

“It is wonderful to be able to celebrate the life of someone who persuaded so many audiences through the years to share his love of horseracing.”

The sale will be held on Saturday, 9 December, at Rowley’s, 8 Downham Road, Ely Cambridgeshire CB6 1AH.