WHEN soldier Craig Hudson won this year’s Best-Dressed Gent competition at Redcar Races, it was a poignant moment

Craig’s uncle, Russ Parker (pictured in the centre below), was the Best-Dressed Gent in 2018 but, sadly, passed away last year.

The Northern Echo:

Russ’s wife, Belinda, from Guisborough, honoured Russ’s memory by sponsoring the third race on Gin & Gents Evening ­– The Celebrating The Life of Russ Parker Fillies’ Restricted Novice Stakes.

Then Craig, who is about to leave The Army after 22 years’ service, went on to win the Best-Dressed Gent competition later in the evening.

He said: “It means a lot because Russ was so proud to have won the competition in 2018 and it’s nice to follow in his footsteps.

“I only bought the suit yesterday and picked the rose for my buttonhole from the neighbour’s garden! I just thought I’d give it a go and it paid off.”

The competition was judged by television personality, Pam Royle, alongside Tom Power, from Bakers Tailoring. The judges were unaware of Craig’s connection to Russ before making their decision.

Craig, from Marton, in Middlesbrough, won a Hugo Boss watch, courtesy of Market Cross Jewellers, plus a suit, shirt and tie from Bakers Tailoring, and a bottle of champagne.

Runner-up, Mark Motley, from Redcar, won four grandstand tickets to a future meeting at Redcar. Third place went to Max Hodgkinson, of Linthorpe, who won two grandstand tickets.

The Best-Dressed Couple competition was won by nurse Angela Champion and steelworker Les Shepherd.

Angela, who was making good use out of the salmon outfit she’d bought for her daughter Michaela’s wedding in May, said: “We are delighted and amazed to have won.”

The couple, from Redcar, won Tommy Hilfiger watches, provided by Market Cross Jewellers, a styling goodie bag from Orange Kerr Hair and Beauty, and a bottle of champagne.

Pam Royle said: “Judging the competitions was a lot more pressure than reading the news!”