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Former jockey Richard Fox, a stalwart of the weighing room from the 1970s-1990s, has died after spending nearly two months on life support. He was 57.

‘Foxy’, as he was widely known, was one of the sport’s real characters as well as being a top-notch lightweight jockey. Throughout his career he won many of Flat racing’s biggest handicaps, including the Lincoln, Cesarewitch and Northumberland Plate.

In retirement he enjoyed success as an after-dinner speaker and as a double for actor Rupert Grint in the Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets film.

Channel 4 broadcaster Derek Thompson 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. Over the years there have been some characters in sport, but he was the original character jockey. His death is a big loss to racing.”

Richard failed to regain consciousness after collapsing while shopping in Newmarket at the end of April. He is survived by his wife Marie and two children. Arrangements for the funeral are yet to be announced.