Stroke puts O’Sullevan back in hospital

posullSir Peter O’Sullevan suffered a mild stroke on Sunday, but is likely to be released from hospital today or tomorrow after tests showed no major problems to his health.

The stroke was the latest in series of health issues to affect the 95-year-old former BBC racing commentator during recent months. Only days after he had spent a week in hospital with blood circulation difficulties O’Sullevan drove himself to Paris for the Arc meeting. He came home with bronchitis before a further spell in hospital at the end of October.

The latest problems come less than a fortnight after O’Sullevan was at Cheltenham for all four days of the Festival. It’s beginning to look as though he’s overdoing it a bit.

For the past few days, staff at the Charing Cross Hospital have been hearing plenty about Cappa Bleu, O’Sullevan’s strong fancy for the National next weekend. They have also come to understand what an irrepressible sense of humour the “Voice of Racing” has. One of his visitors, Ladbrokes PR director Mike Dillon, explained how O’Sullevan realised he had was ill.

He said, “Peter said he first noticed he had a problem when he was watching a six runner race on Sunday and all of a sudden he could see 18 horses. He said that the thing that worried him most was that he had backed three losers instead of one.”

Dillon was also sent on an errand to the hospital shop to buy a comb, as O’Sullevan had not brought one with him and said he was feeling a bit scruffy. That’s something well worth picturing.

It does sound as though this latest incident is not too serious, but as Nigel Payne, who runs O’Sullevan’s charitable trust said, “When anybody of that age has a stroke it has to be a concern.”

Get well soon, Sir Peter.

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