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Page last updated at 12:55 GMT, Thursday, 28 August 2008 13:55 UK

Channon injured in motorway crash

Mick Channon
Channon played for Southampton and England in the 1970s

Ex-England footballer turned racehorse trainer Mick Channon has been seriously injured in a fatal motorway accident.

The 59-year-old was travelling from Doncaster Sales to his Berkshire stables when the accident happened on Wednesday on the M1 in Leicestershire.

Bloodstock agent Tim Corby, 63, of Berkshire, who was driving the car, was killed in the single-vehicle crash.

Channon suffered broken ribs, jaw, arm and a punctured lung and was due to undergo surgery on Friday.

Leicestershire Police said the silver Mercedes all three were in left the motorway and hit a concrete pillar.

Channon's 15-year-old son Jack was also in the car but he was not seriously hurt.

His other son Michael said: "Mick is conscious and able to talk from his hospital bed and he's absolutely devastated at the loss of Tim."

Mick Channon in his Southampton days
Channon's goals were usually accompanied by his "windmill" celebration

The accident closed the southbound carriage motorway, and it was also closed northbound for a time to enable an air ambulance to land.

Michael added: "We have been petrified and worried and absolutely out of our wits worrying about our own family.

"But as for the Corbys, our hearts really go out to them. Tim was a friend of Mick's for over 30 years.

"He was a renowned figure in the racing scene who was universally popular in the industry and he will be sorely missed by the residents of East and West Ilsley, all of his many friends, and most of all the Corby family."

Channon is one of a rare breed who have reached the top in two different sports.

Profile - Mick Channon

One of the best-known footballers of the 1970s, Channon made more than 650 appearances in a career spanning three decades.

He became a Southampton legend after 510 games in two spells at The Dell, where he still remains the Saints' leading all-time leading goalscorer.

He also played for Manchester City, Norwich City and Portsmouth, as well as scoring 21 goals for England in 46 international appearances.


Channon's famous "windmill" goal celebration earned him cult status among fans.

After retiring from football in 1986, Channon began his racing career as an assistant trainer to John Baker and Ken Cunningham-Brown before he took out his own licence in 1990.

He started with 10 horses in a yard at Lambourn but moved in 1999 to Newbury to West Ilsley (the prestigious stables once owned by the Queen) and now has about 20 times that number.

In 2002, he topped the 100-winner mark for the first time, a feat he achieved in 2003 when he also broke through the 2m prize money barrier.

And the arrival of Sheikh Mohammed as a West Ilsley owner in 2002 was proof that Channon was now firmly in racing's top league.

However, he is still chasing his first Classic winner.

His racing portfolio includes horses owned by Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson and former England and Southampton team-mate Kevin Keegan.

see also
Cornelius Lysaght column
23 Jul 08 |  Horse Racing
Channon heads for the Middle East
30 Jan 08 |  Horse Racing

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