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Tony McCoy tipped to be awarded knighthood in New Year Honours list as bookmakers slash odds


Tony McCoy and wife Chanelle

Tony McCoy and wife Chanelle


Tony McCoy and wife Chanelle

Champion jockey Tony McCoy is tipped to be awarded a knighthood in the New Year's Honours this week, according to reports.

The 41-year-old is a bookies' favourite to land the accolade, and a friend has fuelled further speculation by paying tribute to his achievements.

The friend told the Mirror: "He has made an incredible contribution to racing and delighted millions. It is only right that he should be knighted."

The 20-time champion, who retired earlier this year, was last week presented with a lifetime achievement award at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year ceremony.

Throughout his two-decade career, McCoy rode 4,300 winners including at the Grand National and Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Accepting his most recent award, he said: "To any young people watching tonight's show, all that I can say is, make the sacrifices because it is worth it."

Since his retirement, William Hill has slashed the odds on a knighthood to evens.

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Fans have used social media to call for the Northern Ireland hero to be honoured.

After his last race at Sandown, McCoy said: "I feel very lucky I have ended my career in one piece. I've got nothing to look forward to now... except the wife and kids."

A spokesman for the jockey ­declined to comment last night.

This year, his wife Chanelle revealed how she walked out on him several times after years of controlling behaviour, but that crisis led him to change for good.

In an interview with The Mail on Sunday, she said they both now acknowledge an unhealthy pattern developed in the early days of their relationship.

"His sick way of controlling me was connected to his crippling fear of failure," Chanelle said.

"I would get home and he would be sitting there bawling his eyes out. He had become Champion Jockey, but he was driving himself demented, thinking he might not be number one the following year.

"I could see where the madness was coming from, and I knew that underneath it he was fundamentally a good person, but I also knew that he was never going to make me happy unless he could be happy in himself."

The turning point came eight years into the relationship, when AP backed out of attending the wedding of one of Chanelle's closest friends to go on a lads' golf trip.

"I told AP it was over between us," Chanelle said. "With every other bust-up, he had known he could get me back, but that one was different.

"I had met this other guy - nothing had happened, but he was everything that AP wasn't - and AP was convinced he had blown it. From that day, he changed."

A new fly-on-the-wall documentary released this year offers an insight into a loving but sometimes tempestuous relationship.

Being AP chronicles AP's 20th consecutive season as Champion Jockey - also his last. The sporting star retired in April, days before his 41st birthday.

The film has already garnered rave reviews at the Toronto Film Festival and explores the shocking risks he took every day.

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