Legendary Bookmaker Bill Waterhouse Dead At 97

Family patriarch Bill Waterhouse, once the biggest bookmaker in the world, has died at the age of 97.

The father of high profile bookmaker Robbie Waterhouse and father-in-law of leading trainer Gai, Waterhouse's death was confirmed by his son via Twitter on Friday.

"Very sad that we have lost my father, Bill Waterhouse," Robbie Waterhouse said.

"He left us peacefully with his family by his side. He was in great spirits until the end.

Bill Waterhouse (right) is helped by grandson Tom Waterhouse (middle) at Warwick Farm Racecourse. Image: AAP
2004: (l-r) Three generations of Australia's well-known bookmaking family Bill, Tom and Robbie Waterhouse. Image: AAP

"He enjoyed a great day with all his great-grandchildren last Sunday."

Born William Stanley Waterhouse, the qualified barrister was a colourful racing figure who carved his name as a bookmaker, particularly during the 1960s and 70s.

Robbie Waterhouse with father Bill Waterhouse and Tom Waterhouse. Image: AAP

He was known for his boldness and willingness to go head-to-head with leviathan punters such as Ray Hopkins, 'Hong Kong Tiger' Frank Duval and 'The Filipino Fireball' Filipe Ysmael.