Jockey, journalist and broadcaster;
Born March 21, 1929; Died September 5, 2012.
Lord Oaksey, who has died aged 83 after a lengthy period of ill health, was a former jockey, journalist, broadcaster and was the founder of the Injured Jockeys Fund.
He was the son of Geoffrey Lawrence, the 1st Baron Oaksey, a High Court judge, Lord Justice of Appeal and a Lord of Appeal in Ordinary who officiated at the Nuremberg trials after the Second World War. The young aristocrat attended the sittings in Germany which brought the leading surviving Nazis to account.
He was educated at Eton, and did National Service with the 9th Queen's Royal Lancers, before reading PPE at New College, Oxford, and then went on to Yale Law School. But racing was his first love and in 1956 he joined the Daily Telegraph's racing team.
Born John Geoffrey Tristram Lawrence, he was the 4th Baron Trevethin and 2nd Baron Oaksey and inherited the two baronies on the death of his father in 1971. As a National Hunt jockey he rode as Mr John Lawrence with some considerable success, winning the 1958 Hennessy Gold Cup on Taxidermist and coming second in the 1963 Grand National at Aintree Racecourse in Liverpool on Carrickbeg.
He preferred to be called Oaksey, although Trevethin is the longer-established title. In his broadcasting career, he was initially known as John Lawrence before adopting the name John Oaksey once he had succeeded to the title.
He worked for ITV's World of Sport from 1970, and, later, Channel 4's racing team, where he was referred to by John McCririck as "My Noble Lord". He retired from broadcasting in 1999.
Even in his retirement, Lord Oaksey continued to make an impact in the shape of the steeplechaser Carruthers, whom he bred and named after a story he used to tell in his role as an after-dinner speaker.
In the mid-1960s the Farrell-Brookshaw Fund (a forerunner of the Injured Jockeys Fund) was established and Lord Oaksey began as one of the trustees and later became chairman. He was tireless in the cause and for his his services to the fund he was appointed OBE in 1985.
The residential home of Oaksey House in Lambourn was built in his honour for the recuperation of injured jockeys and a statue of him adorns the grounds.
In 1959 he married Sir John Betjeman's former secretary, Victoria Dennistoun.The marriage broke up when Lady Oaksey left her husband for the artist Maggi Hambling and in 1988, he married Chicky Crocker, who survives him with the two children of his first marriage.
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