Racing has been remembering former Newmarket-based champion apprentice jockey Bryn Crossley, who died recently at his home in Spain aged 59.
He had lived near Alicante for around 15 years.
Former jockey and trainer Vince Smith, a close friend and former weighing-room colleague, said: “He had a seizure and had been in a coma for a week. He seemed pretty good after that and I spoke to him a couple of weeks before Christmas and he seemed sharp, but then he had another seizure and he didn’t make it through.
“Bryn was a hell of a jockey and such a great fellow to be around, so funny he could light up a room.”
Born in Prestatyn in north Wales, Crossley was apprenticed to Robert Armstrong at his St Gatien yard in Newmarket and rode his first winner on Balvima at Yarmouth in 1979.
in 1980, he joined Geoff Huffer at his yard at Cheveley Park as a five pound claimer who could do light weights. Working with journalist Tony Stafford as his agent, he was crowned champion apprentice in 1981 having ridden 45 winners in what was to prove his best ever season.
In 1983 he rode his only pattern race winner Nepula and that same year rode a future Derby winner in Teenoso when he finished second in a ten-furlong maiden race at Haydock Park on his first run as a three year old.
Twice married, Crossley had ridden 220 winners by the time he retired in 1993 when he to joined Godolphin as a work rider. He is survived by his two brothers, who said: “Bryn was a little guy but a big personality.”