The Racing Post has reported that former Champion Apprentice Bryn Crossley, has died at the age of 59.
He was living near Alicante in Spain, where he had been living for around 15 years.
“He died on Sunday,” said Vince Smith, a close friend and former weighing-room colleague.
“He had a seizure and had been in a coma for a week. He seemed pretty good after that and I spoke to him a couple of weeks before Christmas and he seemed sharp, but then he had another seizure and he didn’t make it through.”
Born in Prestatyn in north Wales in 1958, Crossley joined Robert Armstrong in Newmarket and rode his first winner on Balvima at Yarmouth in 1979.
Having switched to Geoff Huffer’s yard he became Champion Apprentice in 1981 with 45 winners, with Dogberry’s Old Newton Cup success a highlight.
Crossley won the following season’s Lincoln at Doncaster on Kings Glory for Philip Mitchell, who made frequent use of his services.
“It’s very sad news,” the trainer said on hearing of his death. “Bryn wasn’t my apprentice but I used him all the time.
“He was one of an up-and-coming band of apprentices and he rode Kings Glory right the way through, and he also rode five or six winners for me on a very good horse called Telsmoss, who used to win at Windsor on August bank holiday Saturday and then win at Epsom on the Monday.
“Bryn was extremely stylish and very strong in the saddle, he was a Willie Carson-type jockey. He was really good in a finish, other jockeys rarely got the better of him. And he was such a nice person and a really good friend.”
Crossley rode his only Pattern winner on Nepula, who landed the then Group 3 Fillies’ Mile at Ascot for Huffer in 1983 and that same year got to ride Derby winner Teenoso into second place in a Haydock maiden.
Crossley rode his final winner on Minatina at Newbury in October 1993 and retired with 222 victories to his name to take up a job riding work for Godolphin.
He is survived by his ex-wife Jennie and by his brothers Glyn and Jim.