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Johnny Murtagh

Johnny Murtagh: overcame his battles with alcohol

  PICTURE: Mark Cranham (racingpost.com/photos)  

Murtagh discusses alcohol addiction 

FIVE-TIME Irish champion jockey Johnny Murtagh has talked about his previous battles with alcohol as part of the the latest JETS series which discusses the topic of alcohol and drug addiction.

Murtagh features in the 15 minute-long documentary produced by the Jockey Employment Training Scheme, and hopes it can prove helpful to people facing similar problems to the ones he dealt with.

"When I was approached to do the piece my motive to help out was pretty simple. I felt if I could help just one person in the racing game or outside it, well then it would be worthwhile," Murtagh said.

"It's the last thing you want to give up, and when you do give it up, you find yourself thinking about what you are missing instead of realising all you have gained. It's important for people to realise the positive effects it will have on their lives."

Murtagh, who will forever be associated with legends of the turf such as Yeats, Motivator and Sinndar, has embarked on a successful training career since leaving the saddle in 2014, and believes none of the success he has had would be possible if didn't tackle his demons.

"A lot of people know my story and know that I am not drinking anymore. It has benefited my life and the people around me," he said.

"It also brought consistency to my life and it has made me a more positive person now. There are no negatives in my life anymore ever since I stopped drinking.

"I saw a great quote the other day. It said, ‘I never lose, I win or I learn.' I just hope the piece strikes a chord with a couple of people."

'A brilliant initiative'

Murtagh believes that the people involved in the current JETS series, which has also discussed issues such as depression, injury recovery and diet, deserve a lot of credit for shining a light on such subjects.

He said: "It's a brilliant initiative. I look back on my career and certain things people said to me changed my way of thinking or my attitude towards something and I hope this piece will have a similar effect and it might register with them."

"It was very well put together and it's educational for younger people in the game. Whether they take it on board or not, who knows, but JETS have done a fantastic job on theses pieces and they should be very proud."

 
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