Injured jockey Graham Lee thanks public for “unbelievable support” in first interview after horror fall
Graham Lee thanked the public for its “unbelievable support” following the fall at Newcastle in November that left the jockey with life-changing injuries. Lee remains in the spinal unit of the James Cook Hospital in Middlesbrough after suffering fractured vertebrae in his neck when unseated from his mount Ben Macdui as the stalls opened at Gosforth Park. The Irishman said in a statement released by the Injured Jockeys Fund: “It’s three months now since my accident and I thought it was appropriate for me to say something publicly for the first time.
“Frankly, I’ve been overwhelmed by the unbelievable support and good wishes sent by everyone and I’d like to thank you all so much on behalf of myself, my wife Becky and our children, Amy and Robbie.
Graham Lee during his career as a jockey which was brought to a premature end in November (Getty Images)
“It feels like I’m in a bit of a bubble here at the James Cook Spinal Unit but the girls share with me all the messages that they are receiving and every single one is appreciated, as is the support of my great friends who continue to visit me so regularly and keep my spirits up.” Lee, who turned 48 in December, rode Amberleigh House to victory in the Grand National at Aintree in 2004 before switching to the Flat in 2012. Three years later, he won the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot on the Ed Dunlop-trained Trip To Paris and gained a second Group 1 triumph aboard Alpha Delphini in the 2018 Nunthorpe Stakes at York.
“I never really considered that I had achieved that much as a jockey and it seems crazy that so many people are thinking of us all,” he added. “I can’t deny it has been – and continues to be – hard for us all, but these messages help us all so much. “I would also like to thank the team of nurses here who are just unbelievable in the around the clock care and support they offer us all. “As most of you know, the injuries I have suffered are life-changing and there is a long road ahead.
But we have just received planning permission so that work can start to adapt our home in the hope that I will be able to leave hospital at some stage in the next few months. “Thank you again. I am truly humbled and grateful.”
A JustGiving donations page set up by Lee’s daughter Amy has now raised over GBP189,000. Gamble responsibly Everyone at Reach is committed to promoting safer gambling.
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