Lester Piggott: Britain's most famous jockey dies aged 86

He passed away peacefully in his sleep at a medical facility in Switzerland according to a brief family statement.

Nine-time winner of The Derby and one of the greatest jockeys of all time Lester Piggott has died at the age of 86.

The racing world woke to terrible news on Sunday after it was announced that nine-time derby winner and Britain's most successful jockey Lester Piggott had died.

The legendary jockey was 86 at the time of his death and was battling an illness that forced him to travel to Switzerland for treatment last week.

"Sadly we can confirm that Lester died peacefully in Switzerland this morning. I really don't wish to add much more than that at this stage, although Maureen will be making a statement later," said Piggot's son-in-law William Haggas in a brief address.

Piggott's incredible career spanned almost five decades beginning with his first race win at Haydock in 1948 at the age of 12.

He would go on to ride another 4000 more winners, including a record 30 British Classic wins, before he retired from horse racing in 1985.

He courted controversy during this time after receiving a three-year jail term in 1987 for tax evasion.

It was an unfortunate blight on the man and resulted in his OBE being taken away.

He made a brief to the sport in 1990, winning the Breeders' Cup Mile that same year and the 2000 Guinness in 1992 before calling it quits for good in 1995.

At 5ft 8in tall, Piggott was nicknamed "The Long Fellow" and had a proud family history in racing.

His grandfather was a three-time Grand National winner while his father won the National as a trainer and also won the Champion Hurdle as a jockey.

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