His comeback gave hope at a time when the C-word was still a death sentence to so many. He’s also raised an incredible £15m in the subsequent four decades to his cancer charity.
People are alive today thanks to Champion’s miracle win as the rider prepares to embark upon his next great venture – a 191-mile sponsored walk, using the gallops at myriad racing yards, which represents the time it took for him to receive the all-clear after being diagnosed with cancer.
Fittingly, it will begin at Aintree next weekend after this year’s National and Champion will be inspired by both cancer patients and an enduring love of the outdoors that stems from his lifelong affection of Roseberry Topping. “When I see it, I know I’m home,” he says movingly. It’s also why we, too, are so proud to call him our champion.