Tributes paid to local man Jim

Jim Lilley
Jim Lilley

Tributes have been paid to well known local man Jim Lilley, who passed away on January 15.

A Service of Thanksgiving for the life of James (Jim) Lilley was held in St John’s Parish Church, Upper Kilwarlin on Friday January 18 with interment afterwards in the adjoining churchyard.

Mr Lilley served as a councillor in Lisburn for a four year term after being elected in 1973.

He also has passion for and success with racehorses including owning Gay Spartan who won the King George IV Chase at Kempton Park on Boxing Day 1978 and Rathgorman who won the Queen Mother Champion Chase at Cheltenham in 1982.

He also reared and produced Carvill’s Hill, who went on to win the Welsh Grand National for Martin Pipe.

He was especially respected by the young people who represented Northern Ireland on the Working Hunter Pony Team that he managed, some of whom, now adults, travelled from across Northern Ireland, England and as far afield as Belgium to attend his funeral.

Mr Lilley was a Past Worshipful Master of Toughblane LOL No 556 and he was a motorcycle racing enthusiast, sponsor and keen race bike and memorabilia collector.

He played with Downshire Football Club as goalkeeper and he was to remain a football fan throughout his life - being honorary president of the Dunmurry Branch of the NI Football Supporters Club until his death.

Speaking at the funeral, Mr Lilley’s daughter Amanda said he was a “gentleman, mentor, hero, legend.”

She added: “I have been very blessed to have the man that was Jim Lilley as my father and will be eternally proud of him, everything he stood for and all that he achieved.”