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Tony McCoy: 'We should put up a statue of him on a horse in Moneyglass'

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Tony McCoy and his wife Chanelle

Tony McCoy and his wife Chanelle

Tony McCoy and his wife Chanelle

There were mixed emotions in Moneyglass yesterday as locals reflected on jockey Tony McCoy's decision to quit while at the top of his sport.

At his family home, sister Kelly McCoy (30) said they will miss the buzz associated with her brother's success, but also hope he can reach the end of the season without being injured.

Elsewhere in the close-knit community, talk is already turning to McCoy's career heroics being immortalised in the shape of a statue, or maybe having his name on the village signs.

Yesterday was another day of racing glory for the McCoys as Tony's father Peadar and mother Claire travelled to Leopardstown racecourse to see another triumph.

Back at home, Kelly said: "There are mixed emotions. It will be sad when he rides for the last time, but a wee bit of relief too that he gets out injury-free.

"I would go to Cheltenham and Aintree, but mummy doesn't really go, just a couple of times a year. She wouldn't be great watching him in case he gets injured. It is easier for her to watch on TV, because then she can go away if it's too much.

"Being there is tough for her.

"That said, she is in Leopardstown today and when he won the big race mummy phoned me about it."

Kelly added: "We are very proud of him. I know we maybe don't say it enough to him, because we like to try and keep his feet on the ground."

Tony's cousin Oliver McCoy (48) said: "I'm glad he has made the decision himself rather than the decision being made for him. He was always a very determined character. Anything he wanted to do, he went for it and there was no turning back.

"His father was always into horses, he always bred mares and foals. There are two small stables still there and that's how he got interested in it. He did a bit of showjumping on the green area out the front of his house and then started cycling eight miles to horse trainer Billy Rock in Cullybackey at maybe 6am."

At the Tumbledown pub in Moneyglass, where Tony's sister Ann-Marie McCormick is landlady, another cousin of McCoy's - also called Anthony McCoy (33) - said: "He has put Moneyglass on the map and I feel proud of that. I have won money on him."

James McErlean (65) said: "They should stick a bronze statue of him on a horse down where he was reared. He is the best in the world, after all.

"Or they should have signs saying Moneyglass is 'home of Tony McCoy'."

Belfast Telegraph