The jockey who recovered from cancer and went on to win the Grand National has thanked the Swindon-based Wasdell Group for helping his sponsored walk raise £108,000 for cancer research.
Bob Champion was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 1979 but, after punishing treatment, went on to win the 1981 Grand National on Aldaniti. He went on to establish the Bob Champion Cancer Trust which has raised more than £15m for the Bob Champion Cancer Research Laboratory, a research facility dedicated to treating male cancers.
Forty years on from his famous Grand National win, Bob has walked a 191-mile route to raise more funds for the Bob Champion Cancer Trust. The 191 miles represent the 191 days between his initial cancer diagnosis and receiving the all-clear.
Bob has achieved the distance by walking the gallops at 40 racehorse trainers’ yards and places that have featured in his long and successful career.
The Wasdell Group, which is one of Europe’s largest independent partners to the pharmaceutical industry, were the sole sponsors of Bob’s 40th anniversary fundraiser.
Bob Champion said: “I would like to thank Martin Tedham for his incredible generosity and support in sponsoring my 40for40 Anniversary Walk Challenge. We couldn’t be more indebted, the event simply wouldn’t and couldn’t have happened without him and the support of the Wasdell Group.
“The event was a huge success for us, raising an amazing total of £108,000 for our vital cancer research programmes at the ICR, the Royal Marsden Hospital and within the Bob Champion Research and Education Building.
“The result is beyond our expectations, especially during such difficult ‘covid’ times, but also in reinforcing and raising awareness of the Trust, our progress, and aims. It also gave us a platform to tell Bob’s personal story to so many that weren’t even born when he and Aldaniti won the National.”
Wasdell’s chairman, Martin Tedham, a keen racehorse owner who also sponsors Jonjo O’Neill Racing, said he was delighted to support essential research into treating cancer.
“As a key partner to the pharmaceutical industry Wasdell works closely with partners who develop life-saving drugs for serious illnesses, so this is a cause close to our heart,” said Martin.
“But I also have a very personal interest in cancer research. I sadly lost my wife Carol to cancer three years ago, so it’s been an absolute privilege to support Bob in such a worthy endeavour. I was bowled over to learn that the challenge raised so much for research, and I’m thrilled that Wasdell was able to help make it happen.”
Included in Bob’s Gloucestershire walks were Jonjo O’Neill’s Jackdaws Castle yard at Temple Guiting, Nigel Twiston-Davies’s Grange Hill Farm at Naunton, David Bridgwater’s yard at Wyck Hill Farm, Stow-on-the-Wold and Martin Keighley’s Condicote Stables, Luckley, Moreton-in-Marsh.