Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 23 September 2014

AP McCoy quite simply the greatest, says Steve McManaman

Ulsterman Tony McCoy has been close friends with Steve McManaman for well over a decade

MENTION the name Tony McCoy and Steve McManaman's face lights up. The pair of them are close friends. Have been for years, ever since the ex-England player got involved in the sport of kings.

Well over a decade ago McManaman and his good chum and former Liverpool team-mate Robbie Fowler decided to become racehorse owners.

It was to prove a pretty successful venture. They had several winning horses including Seebald who raced past the post first in the 2003 Queen Elizabeth Chase.

McManaman and Fowler's scouse humour was evident in the naming of their first horse bought as part of a syndicate. 'Some Horse' they called it in the hope that one day a commentator would have to say "and Some Horse has won..."

It did. The next horse they bought was named Another Horse. You get the picture.

Having experienced the racing game, McManaman's respect for jump jockeys is unlimited, in particular a teak tough bloke from Moneyglass who rode some of his and Fowler's mounts back in the day.

No longer an owner, McManaman has remained friendly with many in the racing fraternity.

He considers Arsenal supporting AP McCoy one of his best pals .

Ask the man who excelled for Liverpool in the 90s, won two Champions League crowns with Real Madrid and gained 37 England caps a question on football and you get a considered view in response.

Ask him about McCoy, who has held the jump jockey championship for almost two decades and last month raced to a staggering 4000 winners, and McManaman's admiration knows no bounds.

"Tony McCoy is one of the greatest British sportsmen we'll ever encounter," said Macca of the Ulsterman.

That's certainly some starting point.

He continued: "AP has been at the top of his field for 20 years and put his body through physical torture. I think jump jockeys are superstars and AP is the best of them.

"I know he is still riding and hasn't retired yet, but to me already he should go down as one of the greatest British sportsmen ever, no question about it."

On their long standing friendship, McManaman added: "I've known him for a long time and I speak to him frequently.

"He lives down south in the Newmarket area where lots of the racing people are and I live up north but we speak regularly.

"He's a great guy, is still racing and obviously still doing very well.

"I hope that continues. He really is incredible."

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