AP McCoy and Ruby Walsh pay a touching tribute to JT McNamara

The former jockey passed away at the age of 41

AP McCoy, Ruby Walsh

AP McCoy with Ruby Walsh ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

AP McCoy and Ruby Walsh have paid tribute to the late JT McNamara on Off The Ball tonight. 

McNamara was paralysed in a fall at the Cheltenham Festival in 2013. On board Galaxy Rock, the Limerick native fractured his C3 and C4 vertabrae. Today, he sadly passed away aged 41.

"It was a bad day in Cheltenham in 2013. It's a day we'll never forget," said McCoy.

"Myself and Ruby and a few of the senior jockeys were told of the consequences of what had happened and how serious his injury was. I can remember looking over at his peg and his boots, and his shirt and his tie hanging up and thinking that he's never coming back here. That's something that will live with me forever.

"But as Ruby said, he was an unbelievably tough person, unbelievably mentally strong person and not many people would have got as far as he got. Just an unbelievable will to live and to fight."

Walsh, who first met McNamara in the amateur ranks, added: "To this day, I don't think you ever do come to terms with... you lose a friend and a colleague and it showed the dangers of how dangerous horse racing can be and sadly he paid the ultimate price.

"He was a tough, honest, frank individual. He didn't suffer fools. If he had an issue with you, he told you but behind it all, he was a very fair and honest guy. He was a bit different but he was a brilliant, brilliant fella."