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AP McCoy: I won't let two-year-old son Archie win games, I want him to be as competitive as me

By Cate McCurry

Published 09/10/2015

Tony McCoy with wife Chanelle and children Eve and Archie
Tony McCoy with wife Chanelle and children Eve and Archie

He's broken just about every bone in his body - but it won't stop AP McCoy encouraging his son to follow him into the saddle.

The 20-time champion jockey has faced a long toll of injuries throughout his career, including broken cheek bones, shoulder blades, collarbones, ribs, vertebrae, arms, wrists and leg, and punctured lung and kicked out teeth.

Despite this, he still sees his former job as a "great way of life".

The Moneyglass man is already training his young prodigy up by refusing to allow his two-year-old son, Archie, to win at board games which he claims "will make him competitive".

Throughout his time as the world's greatest jockey, he racked up 4,000 wins and 20 champion jockey titles to his name as well as winning the Cheltenham Gold Cup and the Grand National.

Asked if he would be prepared to allow his young son to take after him, he said: "If Archie wanted to do it then I'd say yeah, because I see a lot of madness in him that there is in me."

But his comments fly in the face of what his wife of nine years would see for their son's future.

Previously asked if she dreamed of her son following in his dad's footsteps, Chanelle said quite firmly: "I wouldn't like to see him be a jockey."

In an interview with The Times, the father-of-two said that his drive to win had not faded with his retirement in April of this year, but admits he is struggling to fill a void left by the decision to leave the sport he once lived for.

"I say I don't look back but I do look back briefly. I don't think I left anything behind," he said.

"It's only been six months I've been retired. I know a lot of people are trying to fill the void. The void's not fillable. Hopefully something will come along to keep me mentally stimulated."

If his family hoped that he retirement spelled the end to his competitive streak, then they would be wrong.

The rider who hung up his riding boots six months ago after a record 20 consecutive years as champion jockey has said that he has no intention of losing his competitive edge, even in parlour games with his daughter Eve (7) and Archie.

He added that he wouldn't let little Archie win anything.

"I want Archie to become competitive. I will make him competitive," he said.

He explained that his success came from an obsession with being the best at "the only thing I was good at".

He made the comments during an appearance at Cheltenham Literature Festival in which he also said that his father was not an archetypal competitive parent.

"No, I don't know what happened," he admitted.

"I think it grows on you. I think the more you get it, the more you want it, the more you want it, the more you need it."

Turning to his wins, the 41-year-old said that the thrill of winning any race would have faded within a week or two and that he took long-term satisfaction from his statistics.

"Statistics annoyed me more than anything else. I enjoyed it every time I went past the winning post but it lasted such a short time.

"Statistics drove me mad. But they are your record.

"Opinions are opinions, but statistics don't lie."

Belfast Telegraph

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