Dick Francis funeral to take place

The funeral of jockey turned best-selling author Dick Francis will take place today.

The funeral of jockey turned best-selling author Dick Francis will take place today.

Francis, 89, died on February 14. He will be laid to rest at his home in Grand Cayman in the Caribbean.

A small service will take place at the Elmslie United Church in George Town.

After his death tributes poured in for the author, who wrote 42 novels.

Frederick Forsyth praised his “immensely prolific” output of page-turners and said other authors were still “walking in his footsteps”.

In his previous career as a champion jockey Francis rode for the Queen Mother and was famously riding Devon Loch when the horse collapsed within sight of the winning post in the 1956 Grand National when well ahead of the field.

He wrote a volume of short stories, an autobiography and the biography of Lester Piggott.

He was also one of the most successful post-war National Hunt jockeys, winning more than 300 races.

He retired from racing in 1957 and took up writing, first for the Sunday Express and then, in 1962, with novels.

'Crossfire', written with his son Felix Francis, will be published in autumn 2010.

His wife, Mary, to whom he was married for 53 years, died in 2000. He also had five grandchildren and one great grandson.

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