Sport Unrivalled

Sunday 4 December 2016

Johnny Murtagh

Published 29/04/2015 | 00:00

Johnny Murtagh
Johnny Murtagh

Given that golfer Eamonn Darcy had ambitions of becoming a professional jockey, it shouldn't surprise us that Johnny Murtagh was good enough at boxing to have captured the Irish boy's U14 title.

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Nor that his footballing skills brought him close to joining the Blackburn Rovers' youth team. As it happened, a spectator at one of his boxing bouts in Co Meath advised his mother that his small size, weight, good balance, sense of rhythm, and courage would make her son a fine jockey.

Through a letter from his mother, the lad proceeded to get a two-week trial at a school for apprentice jockeys in Co Kildare. Within a year, he was apprenticed to John Oxx. Murtagh was on his way.

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