All Injured Jockeys Fund supporters and the millions whose lives he has touched through his work in print and on the screen will be saddened by the news that John Oaksey, our founder and president, died at home at Oaksey at 5 am this morning. He was 83.
He was my and our greatest friend. The fact that his passing had been expected to the point of “blessed release” does not make the loss any easier for his family and all of us to bear. For he was the inspiration behind the whole concept of the Injured Jockeys Fund. He was a man of great talents but an even greater heart. They say that no one is irreplaceable but there have to be exceptions to every rule.
He would want us to do much more than mourn his passing and there can be no better healing than to continue the work he started and for which Oaksey House in Lambourn carries his name. Next week at Doncaster, our Patron Princess Anne, attends a lunch raising funds for the new Jack Berry House project in Malton. By then the memory of John’s presence should inspire smiles as well as tears.
At this stage it is hard to try and get through the grief to the man whose very presence warmed so many. But a few years back I wrote out a tribute to him. For now, at least, it is the best I can do. (see articles section – Freelance 2012 – Lord Oaksey)