Sports plan tribute, V'landys hails Queen

·3-min read

Racing NSW boss and Australian Rugby League commission chair Peter V'landys has paid tribute to the late Queen Elizabeth II, recalling her "mischievous" smile and wicked sense of humour at a dinner earlier this year.

The NRL will hold a minute's silence before this weekend's finals fixtures as will the AFL and AFLW before their games.

Cricket is expected to follow suit as will football ahead of Sunday's Australia Cup semi-final between Sydney United and Brisbane Roar.

Supercars held a minute's silence on Friday before practice in Pukekohe and is expected to pay further respect to the 96-year-old monarch over the weekend.

V'landys, in his capacity as chief executive of Racing NSW, was seated next to the Queen for a dinner at Royal Ascot in June earlier this year.

The Queen was a racing enthusiast - her own horse Estimate won the 2013 Ascot Gold Cup - and V'landys gifted her a replica of The Everest trophy as thanks for the invitation.

"She asked why I didn't give her the original one and my response was: the original has about 6000 diamonds on it, that's more than you've got'," V'landys told AAP on Friday.

"The room stopped when she walked in, it was like we were looking at an angel.

"She was mischievous, her mental sharpness, wit and sense of humour was extraordinary.

"And she sent shivers up my spine when she told me how she fell in love with horses when her father, King George VI, who owned two horses, took her to the races when she was 16.

"She saw this magnificent horse and was captivated by it and when she touched its neck it felt like velvet, and she said she didn't wash her hands for three days."

Queen Elizabeth met hundreds of Australian sportspeople during her reign and was notably the subject of some mischievous Test cricketers.

Australian fast bowling legend Dennis Lillee, when meeting the Queen during the 1977 Centenary Test in Melbourne, greeted the monarch with a "g'day Queen" - and then asked for her autograph.

The Queen declined Lillee's request because of royal protocols but later sent the Australian a signed photograph of their meeting.

And during a 1981 Test match at Lord's, Australia's paceman Rodney Hogg met the monarch during a break in play.

One version of events has Hogg saying "nice legs for an old sheila" when the Queen was in ear-shot.

Another version has Hogg turning to teammate Geoff Lawson, digging him in the ribs, and pointing out the Queen's "pegs".

Hogg has confirmed, in general, the latter story.

"Oh no, I definitely didn't tell her myself, I would have been too scared for that," Hogg was reported as saying in 2011, some 30 years after the greeting.

"But I did give Henry (Lawson) a nudge and say that I thought she had a good set of pins.

"You've got to remember, she was a very attractive lady."

Some sporting events in Britain scheduled for Friday have been cancelled, including England's second day of play against South Africa in Test cricket.

Golf's PGA Championship at Wentworth in England was suspended on Thursday evening when news broke of the Queen's death, with no play to be held on Friday UK time.