RIDER NEWS: Joe hopes for speedy recovery

One of the sports top over 50s veteran’s riders, and best known characters, Joe McLaughlin is hoping for a speedy recovery after becoming increasingly ill over the past month with severe chest pains, coughing and weight loss.

His condition got steadily worse with a mystery illness that had doctors confused despite many tests and scans. On Tuesday morning of this week he attended Walsgarve hospital, Coventry, for x-rays, after gasping for breath on Monday as his condition worsened.

He has now been diagnosed with pneumonia and is already on a course of treatment. The Coventry man, who almost uniquely in British sport, successfully competes against abled bodied competitors whilst severely disabled himself.

Joe McLaughlin (centre) racing in the 1980s.

Joe McLaughlin (centre) racing in the 1980s.

McLaughlin, the current Eurovets number 3, who astonishingly even made it all the way to the British Open Final in 1983, losing a final place run-off to be first reserve on the day. This in an boom era of the sport, when hundreds of riders would enter the British championships.

He is soon hoping to catch up on his work, which includes his tireless volunteering for the sport which has seen countless clubs benefit and which he has gained sponsorship and worldwide TV coverage completely beyond the standing of the sport.

He is hoping to be well enough to ride at Stoke, a club he has recently been helping, in the first round of this year’s Eurovets series on 23rd April.

He said: “I am so very relieved that at last they have found out what’s wrong with me. Any illness is a great concern to me due to my generic health issues. If the doctors are right, and the treatment starts working, I hope to able to resume light training in April but it’s all dependent on progress”.