JT McNamara passes away, aged 41

The Limerick jockey was paralysed in a fall in 2013

jt mcnamara, cheltenham, horse racing, limerick

Teaforthree ridden by JT McNamara on the way to winning the National Hunt Steeple Chase at the 2012 Cheltenham Festival. Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

Limerick jockey JT McNamara has died, aged 41.

McNamara's career came to a sudden and cruel end when was paralysed in a fall at the Cheltenham Festival in 2013. On board Galaxy Rock, the Limerick native fractured his C3 and C4 vertabrae.

According to the Limerick Leader, McNamara experienced complications on Friday night, when he was rushed to the University Hospital in Limerick, before returning home to spend his final days with family.

McNamara spent well over a year in hospital in England after the fall, before returning home to Limerick in June 2014 to be with his family.

In a moving interview with the Racing Post, McNamara revealed how the Turf Club, Irish Injured Jockeys, the IJF and JP McManus all helped him try and lead as normal a life as possible when he returned home.

He added that how grateful he was for the help of the horse-racing community in Ireland, which helped raise over €800,000 at an event in Limerick.

"The sheer number of visitors and the support from the public helped me keep going. All those people making the time to come to see me - it showed a few people liked me anyway!"

"Not being able to play with the kids is the hardest thing. And it always will be."

McNamara could have easily been competing at the Galway Races this week, only for the fall three years ago. His friend Frankie Ward told the Limerick Leader that JT will be in the thoughts of everyone at Ballybrit on Tuesday.

"All his colleagues are there in Galway and will all be thinking of him. He was a great rider, a great personality and he called it as it was. He was a great horseman. "

"Hopefully," Ward added, "he will enjoy Galway from heaven."