Veteran jockey Bob Champion makes appeal to fans after lifetime of photos destroyed in fire

'All the the photos were in my car and they went up in smoke. It's devastating'

Ryan Butcher
Sunday 21 January 2018 22:32
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Bob Champion, left, had a lifetime of memories in his car before it was destroyed in a fire in Liverpool on 31 December
Bob Champion, left, had a lifetime of memories in his car before it was destroyed in a fire in Liverpool on 31 December

A jockey who beat testicular cancer and went on to win the Grand National is making an urgent appeal to fans after a major fire in a Liverpool car park destroyed a lifetime of his precious photographs.

Bob Champion's car was one of 1,600 vehicles destroyed in a massive blaze at a multi-storey car park next to the Liverpool Echo Arena on 31 December.

The 69-year-old had scores of photographs from throughout his career stored in his car as he was due to take them to his publisher for his forthcoming autobiography.

Mr Champion's story captivated the nation in the early 80s when he won the Aintree race on Aldaniti, just two years after being diagnosed with cancer.

He went on to launch The Bob Champion Cancer Trust, which has raised millions of pounds and gone on to fund two research laboratories at the Royal Marsden and Norwich Science Park.

The veteran jockey is now making an urgent appeal to fans to track down and replace some of the treasured photographs, including pictures with the late actor John Hurt, who played him in the film Champions, which was based on his life.

"I was at the Liverpool Show for the Shetland ponies Grand National for the Bob Champion Cancer Trust and I was going back to the publishers the next morning," he told the Racing Post.

"So all the the photos were in there – press cuttings and things I'd saved for years – they went up in smoke. It's devastating."

Anyone who can help Mr Champion replace his lost photos is asked to email bob@bobchampion.co.uk.

His autobiography is due for release on 13 April.

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