Liam Treadwell: Grand National-winning jockey dies aged 34

23 June 2020, 18:52

Liam Treadwell won the Grand National on his first attempt in 2009
Liam Treadwell won the Grand National on his first attempt in 2009. Picture: PA

By Megan White

Grand National-winning jockey Liam Treadwell has died aged 34, trainer Alastair Ralph has confirmed.

He sprang one of the biggest surprises in the world's greatest steeplechase when riding 100-1 outsider Mon Mome to victory in 2009 for trainer Venetia Williams, on his first attempt.

He was also third on Monbeg Dude in 2015.

Treadwell announced his retirement from riding in February 2018, but returned to the saddle in March 2019.

As well as still riding, he was assistant to the Bridgnorth-based Ralph, who described Treadwell's death as "unbelievably sad" and a "big shock".

He rode more than 300 winners during his career.

A statement from West Mercia Police read: "Earlier this morning police were called to an address in Billingsley, near Bridgnorth, following the death of a man in his 30s.

"The death is currently being treated as unexplained. However, at this stage there is believed to be no third-party involvement."

Mick Fitzgerald - also a Grand National-winning rider having landed the Aintree spectacular aboard Rough Quest in 1996 - is a former weighing-room colleague of Treadwell's.

He said: "Seeing him winning the Grand National is in many ways the best way to remember him.

"He was a really nice guy, he was a lovely rider - and it's just awfully sad. It's sad for his family and anybody connected with him. It just highlights again how precious life is.

"We used to call him 'Tredders'. He just got on with it when he was racing. You never knew he was there. He wasn't a shouter. He just wanted to do the best he could, and it's just awfully sad for everybody involved."

The British Horseracing Authority's chief executive Nick Rust also paid tribute, saying in a statement: "We are devastated to hear the tragic news about Liam Treadwell.

"Liam had a fine career in British racing, riding over 300 winners in the 17 years that he held a jockeys' licence, obviously none more memorable than his remarkable 100-1 Grand National success on Mon Mome in 2009 - a ride that cemented his place in racing folklore.

"The racing community will be united in grief today, and the thoughts of everyone at the BHA are with Liam's friends, family and colleagues."

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