Wed, 24 July, 2024

Jonathan Neesom

Posted: June 18th, 2024

JONATHAN NEESOM, former point-to-point correspondent on The Sporting Life, died aged 72 on June 11 [2024]. In later life, he became a familiar face on a variety of TV channels dedicated to horseracing, and was highly respected within the racing community. You can read more on this link on the Racing TV website There’s also a collection of videoclips here:

Former Sporting Life tipster Eddie Fremantle writes: Jonathan and I knew each other for more than 30 years. He was a continuous inspiration to me, from advice about trivial racing stuff to more important life matters. Avuncular and erudite, with a marvellous, acerbic sense of humour, you’d never have guessed he had been a school teacher earlier in life – oh yes, you would.

We shared many train journeys to and from the races, discussing the card or doing The Times crossword, listening for the trolley man Alan coming round with his call of ‘teas, coffees, light refreshments’ on the way back from Plumpton. Discussions would often include a visit to a pub. And many were the times Jonathan drove me to the racecourse – nearly every Monday to Windsor for years. He was a passenger of mine once – to Wincanton – and he gave me the sack. ‘I’ll drive from now on, I think’, and he did. That was a thing with him, if he didn’t like something, it wouldn’t happen again.

Like so many of us, his hobby became his job and he was a racing workaholic. Spotlights, close-up, television punditry and his work on the point-to-point form didn’t leave him much time for anything else, although he loved to relax with a pint of Ram and Special in his local.
He was an avid follower of Plymouth Argyle and, even though he knew his time was up, it would have distressed him considerably had they been relegated in May. It would have given him a late, small piece of joy that they escaped.

As a friend and colleague, he gave me so many hours and days of joy. He will be so very much missed. Jonathan will not be having a funeral. He did not want any fuss. I think that’s slightly sad as there are many, many people who would have liked to pay their respects, but it was his decision.
He did, however, leave money for a party in his honour.

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