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Former jockey Tommy Lappin dies aged 69

FORMER Flat jockey Tommy Lappin died in hospital in Northallerton in North Yorkshire on Friday night. He was 69 and had been suffering from ill health for some time.

Tommy Lappin

Tommy Lappin: 'loved racing'

Irish-born Lappin spent most of his racing career based at Middleham in North Yorkshire, serving his time with Harry Blackshaw before going on to spend a lengthy stint riding successfully for the colourful Ken Payne, where his riding stablemates included John Curant and Alan Cousins.

His son, Rodney Lappin, a former jockey, who is now assistant to North Yorkshire trainer Alan Swinbank, said on Saturday: "My dad hadn't been very well, so his death wasn't a complete surprise, though obviously when it comes, it's a shock, especially so for my mother, as they've been together since they were 16."

Lappin jnr said: "Dad came over on the boat from Ireland when he was 14. I don't know exactly how many winners he rode, but it was a few hundred anyway.

"He always used to say that Minstrel King was the fastest horse he ever rode, and two others that he spoke highly about were King Of The Road and Idle Dice. He finished riding, I think, in about 1978, but he always loved his racing."

Lappin leaves a wife, Margaret and, apart from son Rodney, also leaves three daughters, Lorraine, Donna and Becky.

Funeral details are to be confirmed within the next few days.

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