Former steeplechase jockey and author John Francome is to succeed the late Lord Oaksey as president of the Injured Jockeys Fund.
The IJF, which was founded by Lord Oaksey in 1964, provides assistance to injured jockeys and their families with the minimum of fuss and delay. In the past 48 years, some £20 million has been spent in charitable assistance and more than 1000 individuals assisted.
“I am very honoured to take on this role especially following in the footsteps of John Oaksey,” Francome said. “I hope I can do it justice and carry on the great and essential work the Fund does.Although unlike the indomitable Lord Oaksey, I shan’t be standing out in the cold selling Christmas cards!”
IJF chairman Brough Scott said:“John is not just a famous name. I’ve always been struck by how often he’s done things for other jockeys in ways that usually go unreported. I couldn’t be more thrilled that he is becoming President and I know Lord Oaksey would too. John is still worshipped by current jockeys and connects us to the future.”
There are exciting plans ahead for the The Injured Jockeys Fund as it nears its 50th anniversary in 2014. These are led by the opening of the Fund’s second rehabilitation centre, Jack Berry House.
Oaksey House, the first flagship centre, was officially opened by HRH The Princess Royal in September 2009.
John Oaksey died peacefully at his home on September 5 at the age of 83.
Brough Scott said at the time: “He was the inspiration behind the whole concept of the Injured Jockeys Fund. He was a man of great talents but an even greater heart. They say that no one is irreplaceable but there have to be exceptions to every rule.
“He would want us to do much more than mourn his passing and there can be no better healing than to continue the work he started and for which Oaksey House in Lambourn carries his name.”