The racing industry is in mourning currently due to the very sad news that John McCririck the legendary broadcaster, journalist and horse racing pundit has passed away in a London hospital.
John had for many decades been the face of UK horse racing and having started out as a bookie’s runner back in the day when gambling was illegal, and then having moved into journalism and the world of TV, he was a familiar face with all punters.
He was best known for his work on the now defunct Channel 4 Racing, where he would venture into the betting jungle as he used to call it and give punters live betting updates on that popular TV show, but he wasn’t afraid of speaking his mind, and would often challenge bookies when he thought their odds were not as high as they should have been.
He was a great believer in fairness and transparency in racing, and he passionately believed that the whip should be banned in horse racing, and he also did a lot of charity work which not many people were aware of.
Channel 4 Racing did, however, sack him, due to his, in their words, pantomime type performances on screen not being conducive with viewers tastes, but he did take them to court over his sacking on the grounds of ageism.
However, he did lose the court case, and found it hard to get regularly work in his later years but did appear in several reality shows including Celebrity Big Brother, to which he donated a large chunk of his appearance fee in secret at the time to the Greatwood Horse Charity.
His wife Jenny, or as he lovingly called her “The Booby” announced his death on Friday and let is be known that he had been suffering from sepsis that he overcome but sadly then also got lung cancer. John was 79 years old when he passed away.