Funeral service for former groom James Cronin to be held at Newmarket's Catholic church on Tuesday
The funeral service for former groom James Cronin, whose death shocked Newmarket’s racing community, will be held at the town’s Catholic church on Tuesday.
The popular 47-year-old, who looked after 2005 Derby winner Motivator for trainer Michael Bell died in a fall down the stairs at the home of a friend on Tuesday.
Mr Cronin had been staying in Windsor Road with fellow Derby winning lad, Dickie McCabe, who looked after the ill-fated Shergar, while he was working at Tattersalls December Sales.
Mr McCabe, who was also working at the sales paddocks, said he had got up to go to work and had found Mr Cronin had suffered a fatal fall down the stairs.
“When we left the sales paddocks on Monday I headed to Wetherspoons for a pint and James said he was going to The Yard. That was the last time I saw him until I found him the next morning,” said Mr McCabe.
Mr Cronin’s mother, Anita,who made the journey to Newmarket from the family’s home in Kilmallock in Co Limerick to arrange the funeral of her only son, said she and James’s father Jimmy, were heartbroken and that James’s partner Katrina, who is expecting his baby, was devastated.
“James was our life,” said Mrs Cronin, “he was a wonderful son and always up for the craic. He had his whole life ahead of him and was working hard ready for the arrival of the baby.”
After working in Ireland for trainer Eddie Lynam, Mr Cronin came to Newmarket at 16 and worked for John Gosden and Michael Bell at Fitzroy House, where he experienced his greatest thrill when leading up Motivator after his win at Epsom.
Since leaving Newmarket he had worked at bloodstock sales for Baroda Stud and Overbury Stud and hewas remembered during a minute’s silence at Tattersalls on the morning he died and in an address by auctioneer, John O’Kelly,prior to the start of the sales session.
Mrs Cronin said a seat would be unveiled in his memory at the Goffs sales complex in Ireland early next year.
A GoFundMe page started by friends raised more than €12,000 overnight for Mr Cronin’s family and currently stands at more than €66,000.
His death is not being treated assuspicious and the coroner has been informed.
Family flowers only have been requested at the funeral service, which starts at 10.30am, with donations to Racing Welfare.