Sunday 23 October 2016

'I will remember him as being kind and sweet, not an alcoholic' - Pat Eddery's daughter in heartfelt tribute

Published 11/11/2015 | 12:36

Pat Eddery
Pat Eddery

Pat Eddery's daughter Natasha has paid an emotional tribute to her father who passed away at the age of 63 yesterday.

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Eddery was crowned champion 11 times, claimed four Prix de l'Arc de Triomphes and won over 4,600 races before his retirement in 2003. His achievements put him on record as one of the greatest jockeys of all time.

Today, his daughter Natasha paid tribute to her father on social media and highlighted his alcohol addiction that would ultimately cost him his life.

Natasha said she always knew that she would lose him to the "demon drink", but insisted that she will always remember her dad as being "kind, sweet and emotional".

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"Filled with grief this morning that my dad Pat Eddery is no longer here," she said on Instagram.

"It's been five years since I last saw, we stayed in touch and spoke on the phone, I never missed a birthday etc and not a day went by when I didn't think about him.

"The last time I saw him face to face was when I brought him home from rehab and he drank straight away. I turned to him and said 'dad if you choose to drink over health and family, I can't be part of that life for you'. Sadly his addiction was too strong and he couldn't overcome it.

"My sibling and his close friends did all we could to help him battle his illness, but we lost in the end. It has been so sad to witness his decline and my siblings and I knew that we would lose him to his demon drink.

"But that said, I loved him so much and I had probably the best childhood anyone could ask for. I was so proud and still am so proud to be his daughter, he was an amazing jockey, father and husband, but in the end he was taken over by a terrible disease.

"I don't think of that man, the alcoholic, he wasn't my dad. My dad was kind, sweet, emotional and, while he never said much, I know he loved us all very much."

The rider from Newbridge, Co Kildare won 14 British Classics, including three Derbys aboard Grundy (1975), Golden Fleece (1982) and Quest For Fame (1990).

However, his performance aboard Dancing Brave in the 1986 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe is widely regarded as one of the most memorable of his career.

In one of the classiest fields ever assembled, Eddery made his challenge last, down the centre of the track, to snatch victory.

Other famous successes include those of Pebbles at the Breeders' Cup, Silver Patriarch in the St Leger - which marked his 4,000th winner - and Zafonic in the 2000 Guineas.

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