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Co Antrim jockey AP McCoy gains 2st after retiring from horse racing

Sir Tony McCoy at Randox Health Holywood, Co Down, where a health check flagged up his cholesterol level and raised the spectre of diabetes. McCoy has put on 2st in weight since retiring from horse racing PICTURE: Parkway Photography/PA Wire
Michael McHugh

A CO ANTRIM champion jump jockey has indulged in a chocolate habit and put on two stone since he retired.

Ultra-disciplined Sir Tony McCoy kept his wiry frame in shape for years with a punishing routine involving very little food.

But after decades of making the weight the otherwise robust Moneyglass man confessed a weakness for chocolate biscuits in front of the television.

He said: "There's nights I would eat the whole packet... it is not something I am proud of. For someone that had pretty good willpower it is not anywhere near as good as it used to be."

Sir Tony, known by his initials AP, weathered around 1,000 falls and multiple broken bones with little long-term effect.

He underwent blood tests that showed he was largely healthy.

However, the check at Randox Laboratories healthcare company flagged up his cholesterol level and raised the spectre of diabetes, which runs in the family.

"Maybe I need to come out of retirement just to get myself back, he said. "Get my diet back to a more healthy lifestyle, even though people thought it was unhealthy."

The 20-time champion jockey retired in 2015 after a record-breaking career, which amassed more than 4,300 jump racing winners.

Sir Anthony was tall for his sport, at just over 5ft 10in, and endured hot baths, saunas and near-starvation rations as he kept his weight down to about 10st 3lb. Naturally he should be nearer 12st.

"When I was racing I was unhealthy looking. Everybody tells me now I am healthy looking but yet there are things I need to keep an eye on like my cholesterol, the possibility of diabetes.

"I spent all my life dieting but it is something I actually do need to (do).

"Because my body was so used to that I cannot really let my lifestyle change too much."

"I am two stone heavier than I was a year and a half ago."

Throughout his career he had regular health checks.

"The biggest problem that we have in the world is that most of us only go to the doctor whenever we are ill. Prevention is so much better than any cure."

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