Updated: Monday, 06 January 2014 05:24 | By Agence France-Presse

Three-time champion jockey Biddlecombe dies, 72

Three-time champion jump jockey and former Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Terry Biddlecombe died on Sunday, aged 72, after a long illness, his family said.

Three-time champion jockey Biddlecombe dies, 72

Henrietta Knight (R) and Terry Biddlecombe (L), owners of Best Mate walk the course before The Cheltenham Gold Cup Steeple Chase on March 18, 2004

Biddlecombe won the jockeys' title in 1965, 1966 and shared the honours with Bob Davies in 1969.

He then married trainer Henrietta Knight, helping her train famed triple Gold Cup winner Best Mate in 2002, 2003 and 2004.

"Sadly, Terry died peacefully after breakfast this morning with Henrietta by his side," a statement on Knight's Facebook page announced.

Eighteen-times champion jump jockey AP McCoy also paid tribute to one of the sport's best-known characters.

"Very sad news that former champion jockey and the legend that was Terry Biddlecombe has passed away. Thoughts with 'Hen' and his family. RIP," said McCoy on Twitter.

As a jockey, Biddlecombe won the Gold Cup aboard Woodland Venture in 1967 and went close to winning the Grand National when Gay Trip was second in 1972.

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