Jockey who “died for six seconds” in 2013 Brian Toomey set to make a remarkable return to racing as a trainer in 2021
Given only a 3% chance of survival after falling from his mount Solway Dandy “with such force that he was left clinically dead for six seconds before being resuscitated on course” at Perth in 2013, jockey Brian Toomey revealed to The Sun yesterday that he intends to become a trainer in 2021.
Mistakenly declared dead by the British Horseracing Authority after the fall three flights from the finish, Toomey was put in an induced coma and had part of his skull removed to make way for a titanium plate.
Though nicknamed the ‘Miracle Man’ after remarkably returning to the track after regaining his jockey licence in 2015, his comeback was short-lived as few “trainers were willing to give him rides over concerns for his welfare in the event of another fall.”
Speaking to the paper yesterday, Brian Toomey remarked:
“I’m always going to be known as the ex-jockey with the injury but I want to be known for my hard work and my racing mind – rather than a broken brain.”
“I had a titanium plate put in my head. It doesn’t stop me doing anything – apart from being a professional sportsman – but I have been very lucky.”
“I was put in an induced coma. I had to have part of my skull removed. I shouldn’t be alive and I feel lucky to have made the recovery I have.”
“What I’m going through now is not very tough but it’s frustrating how long it’s taking for a dream to come true.”
“My bank balance isn’t where it should be – as a jockey you drive round in flashy cars like a footballer – I would have been more mature if I thought the second part of my career was going to come this soon. But I’m keen to get started.”
“I have been assistant trainer to Dr Richard Newland and learned a lot, but now actions must speak louder than words. I want to do it and prove to people I can do it.
“Back when I spoke about becoming a trainer for the first time I was still feeling sorry for myself. I wasn’t as focused as I wanted to be. I am way more focused and mature now.”
“I have been on every TV show bar Jeremy Kyle feeling sorry for myself. I’ve only got one life left now and I’m focused on it. I have a dreaBm to sell. Before when I was talking about going into training it was a case of ‘what if’… I never had an idea. Now, I have an idea.”
“It’s hard to sell the dream to owners now because they’re not even allowed to go the races due to the pandemic. But if you are focused and being a realist, you have more of a chance.”
“The guys I have learned from, Clive Cox and John Francome are legends, but they started out just like me.”
“Obviously you need luck but I’m now more focused and have more of a chance. When I do find a small yard where I can make a start… in my mind you get one chance at this and I want to have everything right and give it my best shot.”
Here is an example of positivity that deserves to be celebrated and for that reason, today we make Brian Toomey our ‘Hero of the Hour’ and wish him all the best with his quest.