Liam Treadwell: Tributes at funeral of Grand National-winning jockey who died aged 34

By Frank KeoghBBC Sport
Liam Treadwell
Treadwell rode more than 300 winnners in his career, including Grand National winner Mon Mome

Tributes have been paid to "much-loved" Liam Treadwell at the funeral of the Grand National-winning jockey, who died last month aged 34.

He was described as a gifted and popular sportsman at the service at Arundel Cathedral in West Sussex.

"Our lives were richer for Liam being here," said his mother Lorraine.

Treadwell rode more than 300 winners in his career, including the National at Aintree in 2009 on 100-1 outsider Mon Mome.

Police attended his home in Shropshire on 23 June and are treating his death as unexplained but say there was no third-party involvement.

The Shropshire coroner has yet to announce whether an inquest should be held.

Treadwell's parents Mark and Lorraine, and brother Nathan, were among those at the 80-minute funeral service, which was streamed online via the cathedral website for those unable to attend.

A bouquet spelling out the name 'Liam' was at the foot of the altar as Fields of Gold by Eva Cassidy was played at the start of the service, and In The Arms of An Angel by Sarah McLachlan at the conclusion. Fellow jockeys were among the pall bearers.

Treadwell had excelled in football, cricket and cross-country running at school and was praised as a "dream student" by former teachers.

He would run extra laps alongside other pupils who were struggling in athletics, and was talent spotted by Arsenal Football Club at one stage before pursuing a career in horse racing.

Canon David Parmiter, Dean of the Cathedral, said he was a "talented and much-loved" young man.

"Liam was a gift to his family, friends and his sport. His death is the loss of so much potential," he said.

In a moving tribute, Treadwell's mother described him as "a beautiful, kind and caring son - the love of my life".

She said he "smiled his way through the early years and made being his mother a pleasure".

He loved riding over big fences as a jockey, but she was glad when he retired in 2018, although he returned to riding again.

She said he had struggled with sleep and rest after concussion from falls, although had recently appeared to find new purpose in life and had been cycling and swimming.

His family plan to arrange a day of remembrance for friends and family after further easing of coronavirus restrictions.