LORD Grimthorpe, former Jockey Club steward and a keen sportsman, has died at the age of 87.

He had a distinguished military career, retiring from the army in 1968 as a brigadier after serving as a deputy commander of Malta and Libya, and was an aide to the Queen. He served in Malaya and Hong Kong.

Lord Grimthorpe worked for seven years with Sir Alfred McAlpine, the road and construction firm, in London.

He was president of the London YMCA for 17 years and back at Westow, where he farmed some 500 acres, was a member and chairman of the parish council.

At one time, he had 20 mares for racing and breeding and was a regular rider with the Middleton Hunt.

Lord Grimthorpe, of Westow Hall, Malton, was also a deputy lieutenant of North Yorkshire, and a holder of the OBE.

He married the second daughter of the late Earl of Scarbrough, in 1954, and the couple had two sons and a daughter.

A keen horseman, Lord Grimthorpe was appointed a member of the Jockey Club in 1979, having become a director of Thirsk racecourse in 1972.

His other business interests included a seat on the board of Yorkshire Post Newspapers from 1973 to 1986.

His great-great-grandfather, Sir John Beckett, the first baronet, designed the clock and tower of Big Ben.

Updated: 10:46 Wednesday, July 23, 2003