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My Greyhound Isn’t Grey: A tribute to Darryl Embling

The late Darryl Embling, the anonymous writer behind National Greyhound Form newspaper’s popular ‘Man In The Tree’ column, was also a talented musician, it has been revealed.

Darryl’s son Clay has brought forward a number of interesting facts about his father following his passing last month, revealing his dad was a singer and key figure in a band called Placebo Cure, which released four albums including a feel-good tune titled ‘My Greyhound Isn’t Grey’.

Here are a few more interesting facts you may not know about Darryl.

– He was involved in greyhound racing for more than 50 years.
– He loved coursing and was the slipper & secretary at the Victorian Coursing Club in Geelong as a teenager.
– He was a promising junior basketballer, but gave the sport away to concentrate on training greyhounds.
– He would walk more than 50 kilometres a week with his race dogs.
– His band, Placebo Cure, performed regularly in the Ballarat region.
– Three of his closest friends live in the Geelong region, and they are all named Michael.
– He passed away at age 64, living three days longer than his mother, Greta, who also died when she was 64.

LISTEN: Darryl Embling singing ‘My Greyhound Isn’t Grey’ with his band Placebo Cure.

Clay said his dad had a “weird and uncanny” connection with the canine breed, in particular one of his greyhounds whose kennel name was Alvin.

“Going back more than 20 years ago, Alvin would sit in the front passenger seat of dad’s HQ wagon, and whenever they stopped at a T-intersection dad would look right to check for traffic, and Alvin would look left to do the same thing.”

“Alvin would keep looking left, only turning his head to look back at dad when the road was clear of traffic – signalling to dad that it was safe to turn. I thought dad was crazy when he told me about Alvin doing this, but I saw it with my own eyes,” Clay laughed.

Darryl’s love for his dogs was only matched by his love for his family.

“He had 10 grandchildren and a great grandchild, and as such he was heavily involved with the Ballarat Little Athletics Club for many years, working as a volunteer. He was always encouraging the kids and he got a huge thrill when he had the honour of presenting them with their medals,” Clay said.

“Dad was also always happy to lend a hand when it came to renovating. He may not have been the greatest craftsman, but he’d have a crack and he never liked to leave a job unfinished. He was always messing around with engines and he loved his hotted-up cars.”

“He loved a chat with anyone. He could talk underwater with a mouthful of marbles – he once spoke to a wrong number that called the house for hours.”

“He could talk underwater with a mouthful of marbles – he once spoke to a wrong number that called the house for hours.”

That said, Clay recalled a particular incident at the Ballarat greyhounds some years ago when Darryl remained tight-lipped.

“Although dad was a big man he never used his size to intimidate people. I remember being at the Ballarat greyhounds with him one night when I was quite young and someone was getting stuck into him about something he had written.”

“Dad just sat back and listened, and the guy was getting angry and frustrated because dad wasn’t arguing back. In the end dad said ‘I apologise if I’ve offended you but it’s my job to report on things as I see them’, and he offered to buy the guy a cup of coffee.”

“That was dad. He never tried to force his opinions on anybody and was always happy to listen to other people’s views. He would never judge anyone and didn’t have a bad word to say about anybody.”

You’ll be missed, Darryl.

Lyrics

My Greyhound Isn’t Grey: by Darryl Embling & Placebo Cure:

I went and bought myself a doggy, 
A greyhound of all things. 
To get involved in racing in, 
The poor man’s sport of kings. 
My greyhound’s name is Bluey, 
Just in case you hadn’t guessed, 
He’s not blue in colour, 
He’s red, with a white chest. 

A great Australian tradition, 
Use opposites as names. 
I somehow think that this applies, 
In the doggy game. 
There’s boys with girl’s names, 
And visa-versa I pray. 
Suppose it all makes perfect sense, 
My greyhound isn’t grey. 

Chorus: 

Oh my greyhound isn’t grey, 
I like him fine that way. 
It’s a strange sort of name I know, 
I’m puzzled to this day. 
But if you own a greyhound, 
Your life won’t be the same. 
Now that you’re a member of 
The greyhound racing game. 

Whilst out walking Bluey, 
Just the other day, 
From behind a fence I heard 
A little kid’s voice say. 
“Hey Mister what’s your doggy’s name, 
And what sort of dog is that?” 
“My doggy’s name is Bluey son, 
He’s a greyhound, how ‘bout that?” 

“Hey Mister are you kidding?” 
I heard his voice did say. 
“Do I look like a mug to you? 
Your doggy isn’t grey.” 
I must admit he had me there, 
And all that I could say. 
“You can search near and far 
Ain’t many that are grey.” 

Chorus: 

Oh my greyhound isn’t grey, 
I like him fine that way. 
It’s a strange sort of name I know, 
I’m puzzled to this day. 
But if you own a greyhound, 
Your life won’t be the same. 
Now that you’re a member of 
The greyhound racing game. 

I said to the little fella, 
Just ask your dad and mum 
If they can bring you to the track. 
The next time Bluey runs. 
He answered with a big smile, 
As I walked past his gate. 
“I’d love to come see Bluey run, 
I think that would be great.” 

Chorus: 

Oh my greyhound isn’t grey, 
I like him fine that way. 
It’s a strange sort of name I know, 
I’m puzzled to this day. 
But if you own a greyhound, 
Your life won’t be the same. 
Now that you’re a member of 
The greyhound racing game. 

Now that you’re a member of 
The greyhound racing game. 
Now that you’re a member of 
The greyhound racing game. 

Andrew Copley
About Andrew Copley - Racing Communication Manager at Greyhound Racing Victoria with 20 years of experience working as a greyhound racing reporter with National Greyhound Form newspaper and GRV. Adopter of celebrity greyhound, Fred Basset.
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