Charity tribute to Lemington apprentice jockey Philip Greally

THE family of an apprentice jockey who was killed when he was kicked in the head by a horse a decade ago are fund- raising in his memory.

Colin Greally at the grave of his son, apprentice jockey Philip Greally

THE family of an apprentice jockey who was killed when he was kicked in the head by a horse a decade ago are fund- raising in his memory.

Philip Greally, 20, never regained consciousness after the freak accident in North Yorkshire 10 years ago.

But last night, on the anniversary of his son’s death, Philip’s father Colin, of Union Hall Road, Lemington, Newcastle, was determined to keep his son’s memory alive.

The 48-year-old is raising money for Jack Berry House, a charity which looks after injured jockeys.

Yesterday Mr Greally visited Philip’s grave at Lemington Cemetery to lay a wreath on the 10th anniversary.

He said: “It’s just so hard, even now 10 years on. Just before he died my wife spent every day at his bedside. She has never got over what happened, even now.

“Although I will never forget my son, I’m trying hard to get on with life. We go to Philip’s grave every weekend but yesterday was a special day.”

Philip, a former pupil at St Joseph’s Comprehensive in Hebburn, South Tyneside, had been working for racehorse trainer Mick Easterby at his yard at New House Farm, Sheriff Hutton, North Yorkshire, for four years when the accident happened.

He loved horses and dreamed of becoming a jockey.

Mr Greally said: “He was a very promising up-and-coming rider, and we hoped he would have made the grade.

“We will never know now ... all we can do is think. It was heartbreaking to lose him at that age. We will never know if he was another Frankie Dettori.

“He loved horses. When he left school he saw an advert in the paper for the racing school and he went for it. I don’t know where he got it from.

“Both his grandfathers and I loved watching horses, but we never rode them.

“We went to see his first professional ride in Thirsk, and we were all so proud of him.”

Since Philip’s death Mr Greally and his wife Sheila have thrown themselves into fundraising to raise cash for the Injured Jockey’s Fund, but now they are raising money for Jack Berry House.

“We just wanted to do something in Philip’s memory,” said Mr Greally, a former taxi driver.

At the time of the accident, Philip was taken to York General hospital but was transferred to Leeds General Infirmary for surgery.

Mrs Greally travelled to Leeds where she kept a vigil at her son’s bedside and Mr Greally managed to get to the hospital just hours before their son died.

 

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