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Vale Billy J Smith

Racing Queensland Chief Executive Officer Brendan Parnell has paid tribute to one of the state’s great entertainers following the death of television personality Billy J Smith.

Earlier this week, Billy J, 73, passed away after failing to regain consciousness from a fall on Caxton St on Tuesday night.

While Billy J made his name calling rugby league on radio and television - he also hosted popular TV game show "It's a Knockout" between 1985 and 1987 – he was well known in racing circles, and over the past four decades, was a prominent emcee for a variety of Calcuttas and on-track functions.

His passion for the industry was just as infectious as it was for rugby league.

“Queensland has lost one of its great entertainers,” Mr Parnell said.

“While he was synonymous with rugby league, his legacy extends well beyond Lang Park and he was a prominent – and much loved - racing identity.

“While he had an acid tongue and you never wanted to be on the end of his focus with a microphone in hand, he was generous, funny, irreverent and a good man to boot.

“As an industry, we will miss him dearly and we extend our condolences to his family."