08/15/2006 12:00AM

Don Fleming dies at 87

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Don Fleming, a legendary figure in Canadian sportswriting circles and a longtime freelance correspondent for Daily Racing Form at Northlands Park, died in an Edmonton area hospital on Sunday at age 87.

Fleming, who had been experiencing health problems for several years, had continued to contribute to Daily Racing Form and the Northlands Park program until late last week.

Known to his friends and colleagues as "Buckets" because of an oft-told tale concerning a hotel room card game, a fire, and a request for buckets of ice, Don Fleming began his reporting career for the Nelson Daily News in British Columbia in 1938. Fleming later wrote for the Edmonton Journal until he retired in 1983 and became the publicity director at Northlands Park. In recent years, Fleming served as Northlands Park's archivist and contributed his daily articles and selections for the Thoroughbred and Standardbred programs.

Fleming was inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame in 1992 in the "builder" category and the Canadian Curling Hall of Fame in 2005 in the media category.

Funeral arrangements are pending.