Friday 8th June 5pm – The Meakin Room


One of the most talented jockeys of his generation, Declan Murphy’s world came crashing down at the final hurdle at Haydock Park in 1994. His skull shattered in twelve places, the last rites were read and the Racing Post prepared his obituary. Miraculously, he defied death and recovered to 18 months later, saddle up again and win one last race.

For twenty years Declan focused on recovery and the life he felt had not yet begun and it is an extraordinary collaboration with British-American writer Ami Rao, where he finally felt able to share  his story of hope, and of life. Published last year, “Centaur” is a remarkable account and was shortlisted for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year. The Festival is delighted to welcome both Ami and Declan to the Factory where they will re-tell this absorbing and triumphant life story in conversation with sports writer and journalist John Woodhouse.