Racing world mourning death of Tom O’Ryan at 61

Tom O'Ryan: had been battling lung cancer

Racing world mourning death of O'Ryan at 61
By Colin Russell 8:19PM 23 AUG 2016

TOM O'RYAN, the much respected, award-winning racing journalist and broadcaster, has died at the age of 61. He had been battling lung cancer.

O'Ryan, Racing Journalist of the Year in 2002, had also been a talented Flat jockey and one of the leading apprentices of his era. Starting his career as a 16-year-old weighing 6st 2lb, he partnered top-class performers Gunner B and Alverton on course and Sea Pigeon, Night Nurse, Little Owl and Alverton in home work – a quartet who won four Champion Hurdles and two Cheltenham Gold Cups.

O'Ryan rode for Pat Rohan, Peter Easterby and as a freelance for 12 years before weight forced him to turn his hand to journalism. He soon made an impact, working as a racereader for Raceform and joining the Racing Post as northern correspondent as well as becoming a presenter and pundit for Racing UK.

Through all his writing, his knowledge and love of horses shone through and he continued to ride work for Malton trainer Richard Fahey as well as working as a jockey coach helping the careers of many aspiring riders.

Among the first to pay condolence was Fahey, who said: "Devastated to say Tom O'Ryan passed away today. Can't say how much we will all miss him. We've lost the voice of the north."

Bruce Millington, editor of the Racing Post, said: "Desperately sad about the death of Tom O'Ryan. A fine journalist, broadcaster, Racing Post legend and champion of racing in the north."

Malton is also in mourning with news of the death of former jockey and trainer Herbert Jones, who has died aged 83.

O'Ryan leaves a wife Wendy and brother Robin, assistant to Fahey.

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