Mick Fitzgerald describes the late JT McNamara as a "real fighter"

The Limerick jockey passed away on Monday night at his family home

jt mcnamara, mick fitzgerald, horse racing, limerick, cheltenham,

Picture by: Mike Egerton / PA Archive/Press Association Images

Tributes are continuing to be made to the late jockey JT McNamara who died overnight in Limerick.

McNamara was one of the most successful amateur riders in the game, before his career was tragically cut short after a fall at the Cheltenham Festival in 2013. As a result he was paralysed from the neck down.

He recent days he suffered medical complications to his condition, before passing away surrounded by his family on Monday night. 

Mick Fitzgerald, who rode on many occasions against McNamara made a moving tribute to the 41-year-old Limerick rider, when speaking from the Glorious Goodwood festival.

"He was an amateur, but he was only an amateur in name. This guy was as good as any pro."

Fitzgerald added that McNamara was "very much respected around the jumping fraternity. Very much respected around the racing fraternity as well."

McNamara was a "family man", and Fitzgerald spoke about his visits to him in Southport after the Cheltenham fall. "He loved his children. He was a real family man. When I went to see him in Southport, he wanted to get home. That's all he wanted, more than anything else."

"He was a great lad, John Thomas. I can't help but smile when I think about him, and I think that's the greatest thing anyone can ever say about a person."