FORMER champion jockey Graham Thorner described Terry Biddlecombe as "good as you could get" when it came to riding over the sticks.

Thorner, who lives at Letcombe Regis, near Wantage, said: "I remember him as a real cavalier, a larger-than-life person and a very good friend, and make no mistake he was a great jockey.

"I shall miss him because they just don't make them like him any more."

Thorner, who pipped Biddlecombe to the 1970-71 title on the last day of the season, added: "You knew if you were upsides Terry three out, you would have to pull your finger out.

"He was as good as you could get. He must have been made of iron because he killed himself in the Turkish Baths, and then had six rides and then would go out and enjoy himself at night.

"What a man. I just couldn't put into words what a tough, hard man he was."

David Gandolfo provided Biddlecombe with a Cheltenham Festival winner in Coral Cluster in his early days training at Burford, and was later a neighbour when he trained at Downs Stables at Wantage.

He said: "Terry was a great character. He was never short of anything to say with a sense of humour of his own shall we say.

"He rode for me a lot over the years and I got to know him very well when he came back from abroad and things weren't good.

"He pulled himself up by his bootlaces and when he got together with Hen (Knight) everything came good for them.

"He was a very strong guy, both mentally and physically."