Dad was striker for England but I can’t kick a ball – Mick Channon’s son Jack takes the reins of family racing empire

FORMER England striker Mick Channon’s son Jack knew he wasn’t going to follow in his dad’s boots on the pitch.

Record goalscorer for Southampton, 21 goals in 46 games for England and best mates with Kevin Keegan, all the ingredients were there.

Mick, left, has left his hugely successful racehorse empire to son Jack, right

Unfortunately for Jack, he discovered at a young age that he, in his own words, ‘couldn’t kick a ball’.

What he can maybe do even better than his old man, though, is lead their racing empire.

Mick is handing over the reins of his West Ilsley base to Jack.

The former Man City star famed for his windmill celebration took out his trainer’s licence in 1989 and notched more than 2,500 winners.

A legend in his own right, Channon came yards from racing immortality in the Arc de Triomphe.

His horse Youmzain finished second on three occasions in one of Europe’s biggest Flat races.


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But after 30 years and the loss of some close friends, he has decided now is the time for some fresh blood.

Step forward Jack, 29, who looks set to have Flash Bardot be his first runner at Wolverhampton on Thursday.

He told At The Races: “I thought about football for a little while – then I realised I couldn’t kick a ball.

“It wasn’t the route for me.

“I’m not talented enough to be professional in any other sport but that competition and competitive edge from racing really drew me in, the desire to beat everyone else.

“I play all sports but I’m not very good at the rest of them!

“And I was going up the gallops at four or five years old.

“I remember being there when Imperial Dancer was working up the gallops, I was falling asleep at 5.30 in the morning and missing the work!

“But I have been besotted with racing for as long as I can remember.

“And it’s been my aim all my life to take over from the boss. I’m delighted the day has come.”

Don’t expect it to be all harmony, though.

Mick owns a number of horses in his own right and Jack will take charge of them.

He expects a few disagreements.

Jack added: “Dad is very passionate and loves his horses.

“I’m sure I’ll get a few tellings off along the way.

“It used to be me telling him off but it will be the other way round now.”

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