Family 'sure' that body found is Owen Brennan's
THE family of missing horse-trainer Owen Brennan say they "are sure" the body recovered from the River Derwent is his.
The body was found in the water by a passer-by at Darley Park, near the cricket pitch, on Wednesday at 12.10pm.
His son, Martin, said the family believed it was his because the description of clothes on the body matched what Mr Brennan, 77, wore.
But police said it will be "considerable time" until the body is formally identified.
Mr Brennan, 49, said: "It is just quite nice that the uncertainty is over now and we know where he is.
"Now we can move on and get things planned.
"I would like to say thank you for all the support we have had from people, many who we haven't spoken to for years. It's been tremendous."
Mr Brennan was last seen at his home address of Wheeldon Avenue, Derby, on December 17 at 4.45pm by his wife Pat.
Concerns were raised because Mr Brennan had suffered a stroke in September and had memory loss.
Friends and colleagues from Mr Brennan's time as a horse-trainer have paid tribute to him. He retired in October 2009 following a successful career as a horse-trainer spanning 40 years.
Last February he returned to training, where he had further successes.
Two of those came at Uttoxeter, where clerk of the course, Charlie Moore, said: "Uttoxeter was one of Owen's favourite tracks.
"He was always a fun-loving character, even if he was laughing at his own actions and jokes.
"It was marvellous that in his 77th year, he came back and trained two winners at Uttoxeter.
"To see him and Pat in the winner's enclosure afterwards was wonderful.
"He always had a mischievous grin and was a joy to see. He will be much missed. The number of people – including trainers and race-goers – that asked me what I knew about Owen's whereabouts at our New Year's Eve meeting was incredible. The family would have been touched that there was so much concern."
On the day of Mr Brennan's disappearance, he and his wife had earlier dropped off Christmas presents at the Derbyshire stable of trainer Chris Kellett.
Mr Kellett said: "Over the last couple of years we had become real good friends, and he was the most lovely fellow you could ever meet.
"When I started out training, he was always available to give advice and I learned a lot from him."
Friend and horse-trainer Steve Gollings, from Lincolnshire, said: "Owen was a colleague and a friend. I am pleased they have found him for his family's sake.
"Our condolences go out to them. The whole thing is very sad."