Belfast Telegraph

AP McCoy's grief as he mourns mum Claire

By Allan Preston

Champion jockey AP McCoy has paid tribute to his mother Claire, who died yesterday.

Announcing her passing, the Moneyglass-born racing legend posted a family picture on Twitter.

He wrote: "My beautiful mother Claire passed away peacefully this evening with all her family around.

"The most incredible wife to my Dad and mother to myself, Annemarie, Roisin, Jane, Colm and Kelly."

While proud of her son's sporting achievements, McCoy's mother often worried for his safety as he faced the dangers of the race track.

Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph in 2015 ahead of his last Grand National, she admitted it was not easy to watch him in action.

"The past 20 years have been good, but they have also been a tough 20 years," Mrs McCoy said.

"Anthony is dedicated and disciplined, he is a perfectionist." In another interview that year with the Daily Telegraph, she recalled the bittersweet experience of seeing her son quit school to work for racehorse trainer Jim Bolger in Co Carlow.

"I struggled with that for a long time," the mother-of-six said. "I know Anthony holds him in high regard, but to me he stole Anthony's childhood. Then, 25 years later, I met the great Jim Bolger again at Leopardstown when Anthony won the Lexus, and the moment I shook hands, all I could think was: 'You're the man who took my child away'. It probably was a very good grounding, though."

She also said it was a struggle at times to get her horse-obsessed son to school for his lessons.

"He'd refuse to go and we fought, and I mean we fought," Mrs McCoy said.

"He was always stubborn...but I'd have to drive him because he was my brown-eyed boy."

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