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Renowned rider John Thomas McNamara has died at the age of 41.

It is understood that the former amateur jockey, who was paralysed in a fall in 2013, suffered complications on Friday night.

He was taken to University Hospital Limerick, then discharged to spend his final days with his family: wife Caroline, sons Dylan and Harry and daughter Olivia.

He died last night (25 July).

JT made his name as one of the best amateur jockeys in National Hunt racing.

On 14 March 2013, he broke two vertebrae in a fall from Galaxy Rock in an amateurs’ steeplechase at the Cheltenham Festival, and was paralysed from the neck down.

Hundreds of thousands of pounds was raised for JT and his family after the accident, and he moved back home to Limerick in 2014, after he was discharged from the North West Regional Spinal Injuries Centre.

“The sheer number of visitors and the support from the public helped me keep going,” he told the Racing Post in 2015. “All those people making the time to come to see me – it showed a few people liked me anyway!”

Cheltenham racecourse said on Twitter this morning: “We are saddened to hear of the death of JT McNamara.

“Our thoughts are with his wife Caroline, his children and all who knew him.”

Ascot racecourse added: “Our thoughts are with the friends and family of JT McNamara this morning.”

Trainer Evan Williams described JT as “a real gent”.


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20-time champion jump jockey AP McCoy said last year: “I can recall every detail of that day at Cheltenham and one image in particular sticks with me.

“I can still see his clothes hanging on his peg with his shirt on top, and realising he would never be coming back into the weighing room. That memory will never leave me.”