Graham Lee ‘truly humbled and grateful’ for support received since life-changing injuries

Posted 2 months ago in More

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There can be fewer tragedies in modern Irish sporting life than the serious injuries suffered by Galway-born jockey Graham Lee in November 2023. Any racing fan based in Dublin would have been sure to hear about this at the time and been shocked by the life-changing nature of his injuries.

Until that point, Lee was one of the best jockeys on the circuit and enjoyed a glittering career, not only over jumps but on the flat too. Perhaps the most well-known moment of his career before his terrible injury was winning the Grand National on Amberleigh House in 2004. This was not only a great result for the jockey and his trainer but also a victory that many horse racing punters who had backed Amberleigh House celebrated. With starting odds of 16/1, it shows that races like the Grand National can often bring big-priced winners and generate plenty of headlines.

A series of injuries eventually led him to quit jumps racing and focus on the flat in 2014. Following this, Lee won the Ascot Gold Cup on Trip To Paris in 2015. In recent news after his 2023 injury, the jockey offered thanks for the support received since his accident, and has shared plans for a return home from hospital in the near future.


What happened to Graham Lee to leave him with life-changing injuries?

Graham Lee’s tragic accident in November 2023 happened at Newcastle Racecourse, where he was unseated when leaving the stalls on horse Ben Macdui.

The fall left him with serious neck/spinal injuries and he was immediately taken to the intensive care unit of Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle. Further tests showed the seriousness of these injuries and it has since been confirmed they are life-altering in nature.

Lee is now being looked after at the James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough and recently released a statement that suggests he hopes to be home in the near future. In the months following his injury, horse racing as a sport rushed to support him and this saw over £188,000 raised via JustGiving for the Injured Jockeys Fund. This money will not only allow Lee to adapt his home in line with his injuries but also ensure financial help is provided while he is not working.


Lee praises response from fans, friends and racing community

There is no doubt that the support Lee and his family have been shown in such a difficult time was well-received by the stricken jockey. In his statement released through the Injured Jockeys Fund, Lee confirmed that he felt now was the right time to speak publicly about his fall.

He began by acknowledging the kind messages and regular visits from friends that have kept his spirits up in such a dark time. Lee was also quick to heap praise on the nurses who have looked after him and who provide “around the clock care and support”.

Confirming that the injuries he suffered are life-changing and that planning permission has been given to make the necessary work to adapt the family home, Lee finished the statement by thanking everyone again for their kind wishes and saying he was “truly humbled and grateful”.


What next for Irish jockey Graham Lee?

Catching up on the latest news around Dublin is not always just about food, drinking, culture and nightlife. It can also encompass sports and the recent statement from jockey Graham Lee is a case in point. But what could we expect to happen next?

In the immediate future, the plans Lee has appear to be as outlined above. A move out of hospital and back home seems to be on the cards and will represent a real step forward in his recovery.

After this, it is a little harder to say what life may hold for the Irish sporting star. Although he will not return to working as a jockey due to his injuries, he may well return to the sport in some capacity. This could result in him working as a pundit on racing shows, moving into training horses or covering the sport in the media.

Of course, Lee may well find working in racing an all too painful reminder of his fall last November, and choose to take the next part of his life in an entirely different direction.


Graham Lee’s well wishes show his class

The words of thanks offered by Graham Lee in his recent statement show the class of the man and the warrior spirit he possesses. It would be very easy in his position to wallow in self-pity and lash out at the world. Instead, he has chosen to express his gratitude for the medical care he has received and the support offered from friends, fans and the wider racing community.


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