Steve Donoghue (8th November 1884 to 23rd March 1945)

 

An extremely successful flat-race jockey lies here in Warrington Cemetery, the town in which he was born. Steve Donoghue was Champion Jockey 10 times between 1914 and 1923 and was one of the most celebrated horse racers in history (with only Gordon Richards eclipsing him.)

 

He must have known his ambition early as a youngster he won a prize for riding a donkey at a circus and left home at 12 years old to become a jockey (though he may have left because of his violent father.) Two years later he was working a stables but was beaten for allowing a horse to get loose on the gallops. He ran away and found apprenticeships at other stables and at 21 won his first race at Hyeres in France.

 

Success smothered him handsomely and at 30 he rode 129 winners to claim the first of ten consecutive jockeys' championships. He went on to win the Epsom Derby six times and the English Triple Crown twice (no other jockey has done this.)

 

The people loved him but not all the owners and trainers did due to a lack of loyalty. He would switch to race another horse if he had the opportunity of a winning ride.

 

He hung up his riding colours at 52. He appeared as himself in the film Wings of the Morning, Britain's first Technicolour film. Though he earned a mountain of money he was quite hopeless with it and soon found himself struggling financially. He had to take up training but had little success. At 60 he went into a nursing home in London for complete rest but this didnít work. Always a fast man his end came fast too and died with minutes of a heart attack.

 

The entertainer George Formby is about 30 metres away.

 

 

Had someone been trying to give the horse a piece of chocolate? No it was autumn leaf which had someone stuck on the headstone.