Former jump jockey James Banks found dead aged 36

James BanksImage copyright Getty Images
Image caption James Banks (centre) with fellow jockeys after completing his final race before retiring at Chepstow on 2 February, 2018

A former jump jockey has been found dead at his home almost two years to the day after his retirement.

James Banks, 36, rode 85 winners in his career before racing for the final time at Chepstow on 2 February 2018.

Police were called to his home in Naunton, Gloucestershire, on Monday after reports of a sudden death, which is not being treated as suspicious.

Champion jockey Richard Johnson tweeted: “Such sad news. One man that always put a smile on people’s faces.”

A string of leading riders also paid tribute to Banks, who was described as a popular figure among colleagues.

“The world is a little less fun, a little less bright, a little less audacious, and all the worse for it. Thank you for memories that will last a lifetime,” said Lizzie Kelly.

Grand National and Gold Cup winner Barry Geraghty said Banks would be sadly missed, adding: “He was a very good jockey, a great friend to all and one of the most entertaining in the weighroom.”

A Gloucestershire Police spokesperson said officers were called just after 09:00 GMT on Monday and a report is being prepared for the coroner.

Banks’ death follows that of Cheltenham Gold Cup-winning trainer Robert Alner, who died at the age of 76.

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