Jockey Jan




Laura Forbes 1st winner of the Forfar Falcons swimming club’s endeavour trophy in 2010, presented in memory of local jockey Jan Wilson.


I remember that night with great pride sadness and happy feelings. I was asked along to present Jan’s Trophy in her memory. I can’t remember what was said but I can remember how all spoke so well and kindly of Jan and how the winner this year 2010 they felt she was very like Jan, which was Laura Forbes.

I do remember I stood listening with great pride and finding it very hard to hold it together at the fond memories Forfar Falcons shared with us all that night about Jan, I have always wished that it had been recorded so I could have a chance to take it all in. I met Laura and what a lovely girl she was too.


I have been probably in a world of my own and that’s probably why I missed that Laura was ill. I remember their was a fund raising event at the Murton just along the road from us, but never made 2 and 2.
Like everyone else I was gutted when I found out, the young lovely girl I presented the JJMF Trophy to had died.


Things like that are not meant to happen. Its so heart breaking when young people are taken away with all their life in front of them. Below is a small tribute to Laura and her family.



Above. Laura with her trophy in 2010



Below. Picture of all the Forfar Falcons Swimming Club with their trophies 2010.















A courageous Angus girl’s family have paid tribute to the “amazing” teenager after she lost her lengthy battle with cancer.

Just a week after celebrating her 16th birthday at home in Forfar, Laura Forbes succumbed at the weekend to the disease which she had fought head-on since it was diagnosed after a seemingly minor fall on a hill-walking expedition with friends.

Parents Donald and Audrey and younger brother Daniel have been devastated by the sudden loss, but said they were immensely proud of the fortitude Laura demonstrated throughout her brave struggle.

They have also been comforted by many tributes paid to the talented teenager, led by Forfar Academy’s headmaster, who described Laura as an extremely popular girl who excelled in everything she did.

In 2011 Laura hurt her knee in a fall and, after numerous hospital visits, the family were told bone cancer had been discovered in the injured joint.

She underwent intensive chemotherapy, followed by major surgery on her knee. Her family clung to the hope of a positive outcome but were left reeling early last year by the discovery of a secondary cancer on Laura’s lung.

The teenager spent months in Aberdeen Royal Children’s Hospital (ARCH) throughout her illness and her parents have only the highest praise for the staff there.

Mum Audrey, who gave up her job to be with her daughter in the hospital, said: “We can’t fault them — from the very start they were absolutely brilliant.”

Another course of chemotherapy finished last July and Laura had been allowed home, latterly attending ARCH as an outpatient once a month.

After a family Christmas together, and having celebrated her 16th birthday, she suddenly became unwell and was taken back to Aberdeen, where she tragically died.

“We’re just so proud that she managed to get through all that she did. She never complained and she wasn’t selfish — she always put others first,” said her heartbroken parents.

“She had been in good spirits at home — a bit fed up that she couldn’t do the things normal teenagers do, but that was because she was such an active girl.”

Laura was a pupil at Wellbrae Primary School before she moved on to Forfar Academy. She was a keen swimmer and won Forfar Falcons swimming club’s endeavour trophy in 2010, presented in memory of local jockey Jan Wilson.

Last spring, hundreds of people, including many of her school pals, turned out to support Laura’s big fun day, an event at Murton reserve near Forfar which was the idea of younger brother Daniel (11).

Funds from the event helped support the work of the Archie Foundation at ARCH, which was given a further boost of more than £3,000 when dad Donald (42) and his friend Michael Arbuckle tackled a 10,000ft sponsored skydive last year.

Forfar Academy head teacher Melvyn Lynch said: “We were all very saddened to hear of the passing away on Saturday of fifth-year pupil Laura Forbes, who has been bravely fighting illness for some time.

“Laura was an extremely popular and talented pupil who excelled academically, in sports and in everything she did. She will be sadly missed and our thoughts are very much with her family and friends at this very sad time.”

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Back, from left: Audrey Forbes, Lucy Richardson, Ellie McCallum and Andy Reid, with front, most improved swimmer Ellis Mackie, left and Daniel Forbes.


Young Angus swimmers have fondly remembered two tragic pals in a poignant end of season awards ceremony.

The Reid Hall Forfar Falcons event celebrated the achievements of members at club level and beyond, culminating in the emotional handover of a brace of memorial prizes honouring much-missed former members.

There was particular poignancy surrounding the inaugural presentation of the Laura Forbes memorial trophy by the family of the popular town teenager, who sadly lost her battle with cancer earlier this year.

Forfar Academy pupil Laura and her younger brother Daniel both enjoyed the sport with the club and the Forbes family presented the award, to be given annually to a swimmer whose overall enthusiasm and commitment is worthy of recognition.

Laura’s parents Audrey and Donald saw the prize go to Lucy Richardson, who was given the accolade for her club involvement, which includes poolside helping and encouraging the Falcons’ younger members as well as competitive swimming.


Mr and Mrs Forbes then looked on proudly as Daniel was named the 2013 winner of the Jockey Jan Wilson memorial trophy, established following the tragic loss of promising apprentice rider and former swim club member Jan, from Greenhead, Rescobie in a Yorkshire flats fire in September 2009.

Daniel has returned to swimming at the club’s regular training sessions and his determined performances in the recent Falcons gala helped him to the Jockey Jan award, which his sister also won in 2010.

Club president Andy Reid said the club had been greatly saddened by the loss of two popular members in such tragic circumstances within just a few years but it was gratifying their memory will live on through the annual awards.

The presentation dance also saw club swimmer of the year Ellie McCallum given the honour of making a special handover of engraved glassware to head coach Derek Nisbet in recognition of his dedication to Forfar Amateur Swimming Club over a quarter of a century.

In addition to his coaching commitment, Derek has held many official roles within the club, including that of president.



 2014 The Jan Wilson Trophy for hard work in training, and given in memory of Jockey Jan who swam at the club, was presented to Ross Brown.




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