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Michael Roe remembers father Johnny at funeral

Joe Byrne (left) and Johnny Roe 25 Aug 12
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Michael Roe, son of nine-time Irish champion Flat jockey Johnny Roe who died on Sunday at the age of 79, delivered the eulogy at his father's funeral mass in St Mary's Church in Sandyford, County Dublin on Wednesday.

Addressing the congregation, which included members of the Roe family, their friends and many from the racing world, Roe reflected on his father's life as a jockey, his interest in other sports and the different aspects of his personality.

Roe said: "My father was known for his gentle touch and his softness but, in other ways, he was the toughest man I knew. It was his tenacity that made him a champion jockey and that was the way he approached everything he did.

"In racing terms he was an icon. His light-weight and gentle hands saw him able to coax two and three-year-old fillies to perform even beyond their ability.

"He loved playing golf, snooker and playing cards - especially poker."

Roe served his apprenticeship with Seamus McGrath whose son, Jody, was amongst those who attended the funeral.

Also present were two of Roe's riding colleagues George McGrath and Mick Kennedy, Mick Kinane, former senior steward of the Turf Club John McStay, Andrew Coonan, secretary of the Irish Jockeys Association, jockeys valet Dave Fox and trainer Bill Durkan.

Following the mass burial took place in St Mochonog's Cemetery in Kilmacanogue, County Wicklow.

It was his tenacity that made him a champion jockey and that was the way he approached everything he did
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