Tuesday 12 July 2011
Richard Fox, who died in West Suffolk Hospital aged 57 on 28 June after spending almost two months on a life-support machine, was a former jockey popular with trainers needing a good rider capable of making a low weight. The Irishman had been in a coma since 30 April, when he hit his head in a fall while shopping in his home town, Newmarket.
The lightweight, who was known for his sense of humour – he became a regular on the sport's after-dinner speaking circuit – enjoyed a successful career in the saddle after starting out as an apprentice with Frenchie Nicholson, winning the Lincoln, Cesarewitch, Northumberland Plate, Ascot Stakes and Bunbury Cup.
He had been a beneficiary of the Injured Jockeys Fund since he suffered an aneurysm on the Newmarket gallops in 1999. After his retirement, he also worked as a body double for the actor Rupert Grint in the film Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
The broadcaster Derek Thompson, who was a close friend of Fox, said, "He was a great jockey and a great guy to be with. Whenever you were with him you would laugh so much it would hurt."
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