Grand National hero Bob Champion dedicates CBE to cancer charity

GRAND National-winning jockey Bob Champion has been made a CBE for his charitable services to prostate and testicular cancer research.

This was Bob Champion winning the 1981 Grand National on Aldaniti - and a tide of public affection.

The Bob Champion Cancer Trust has raised £15m since it was founded in 1983, two years after the jockey made a remarkable recovery from cancer to win the world’s greatest steeplechase on Aldaniti at Aintree.

The emotional victory of Guisborough-born jockey inspired the film Champions, starring the late John Hurt, and offered hope to cancer sufferers at a time when lifesaving treatment was still in its infancy.

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The trust raises funds for the Bob Champion Cancer Research Laboratory – part of the largest male-dedicated research facility in Europe – as well as for the Bob Champion Research and Education Building at the University of East Anglia in Norwich.

Bob Champion's cancer charity has raised over £15m since his 1981 Grand National win on Aldaniti.

Champion admits he was totally taken aback when he was told he was to receive the honour.

“I’m absolutely chuffed to death. It was a big surprise to me,” he said. “I got an MBE quite a long time ago, when I won the National, but this is for my cancer trust. It’s for everybody that works and has been involved in it and for the people that have supported it through the years.

“They have done so much for me, racing especially, and we’ve got the two research laboratories up and running – and they are doing a great job. We’ve got to keep raising the money to run them. Science costs money. We’re very fortunate we’ve got some top people working in there – and they are coming up with results.

Three horseracing administrators have been recognised, with Racecourse Association chairman Maggie Carver being made a CBE, outgoing British Horseracing Authority chief executive Nick Rust from North Yorkshire awarded an OBE and former Professional Jockeys Association chairman Nigel Payne receiving an MBE.

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