Legends of the racing world, ex-National Hunt jockey Colin Brown (best known for riding the legendary Desert Orchid in 42 races), and racing pundit and television personality John McCririck, joined forces last Thursday at Ascot on Ladies’ Day. They were helping the National Charity British Polio, to raise awareness of Post Polio Syndrome (PPS), a neurological condition affecting around 120,000 people in the UK.
In a 16-year career, Colin Brown rode over 400 winners and his name is cemented in the record books – especially for winning 17 races on the infamous ‘Dessie’. Colin is now a Horse Racing Hospitality Speaker, and Race Day Presenter as well as a UKCC Level 3 jockey coach, and was pleased to give up his time to help British Polio’s campaign efforts.
Colin Brown said: “It’s a pleasure for me to support the British Polio Fellowship, and the incredible work the charity does for those who are living with PPS. The racing world is behind the charity’s campaign all the way. I honestly didn’t know there were so many Polio survivors in the UK, and so many of them now living with this new condition called PPS; we certainly should know more about it.”
Racing TV legend John McCririck has previously enjoyed a long career as Channel 4’s racing pundit as well as making some memorable television appearances in Channel 4’s Celebrity Big Brother and ITV’s Hell’s Kitchen.
John McCririck said: “I’m from the generation that remembers the Polio epidemics of the fifties. It was a pretty terrifying time. When the vaccine became available later on I recall thinking, thank goodness. I recollect Elvis Presley being famously vaccinated on television when I was a teenager. I was shocked when I learned from the British Polio Fellowship that there are still so many people living with the awful effects of Polio in this country. So I was really happy to join forces with my old pal Colin and lend a hand to raise awareness of PPS,” concluded John.
Ted Hill MBE, CEO of the British Polio Fellowship, said: “It’s fabulous to have the support of true racing legends Colin and John. It means such a lot to our members who are living with PPS every day.”
PPS occurs in 80% of people that have had Polio; symptoms include a severe reduction in stamina, cold intolerance and muscle pain. Research conducted by the British Polio Fellowship shows that only 7% of the British public have heard of PPS, despite it affecting 120,000 people, the same number of people who have Parkinson’s disease.