It was approaching my 50th birthday 1996
I knew I had a health problem, but when told I needed urgent heart surgery in February 1996, my, “it can`t happen to me” attitude, plus the realisation that paracetamol tablets were not the answer, I eventually accepted I was in big trouble.
When the haze eventually settled in the Longley household, I made an appointment with my GP, and one of the gormless questions I asked was “who`s going to do it”?
The name Joseph McGoldrick MD FRCS was mentioned.
An appointment was duly made, and as soon as my late wife Johann and I were introduced to him, she took one look at this handsome, immaculately dressed guy, and it soon became a case of he`s the one.
The rest is history
The story of when, fully recovered, I decided to do something I had always wanted to do, buy a racehorse, then named it Mister McGoldrick after the surgeon.
How I bought the yearling, and the story yet to be told of how the method of payment was decided.
Then being told by a vet that my horse would never be a racehorse.
Then being told by a trainer he could do no more with him, and recommended he should be taken to the Sales, and if an offer of £500 was bid …”snap their hand off”
So it became the last chance saloon scenario when,nervous as hell, I picked up the phone, and dialled the contact number for Sue Smith Racing.
Sue agreed to take Mister McGoldrick…thank goodness, but even so, when the horse was off loaded from the box, she turned to Harvey and said, “what have we let ourselves in for here”?
Six weeks later we began to find out how Mister McGoldrick would become one of the most popular and well known racehorses in the Country.
Fast forward now to an old business card I found in my office drawer approx two months ago.
The name on the card was that of Joseph McGoldrick MD FRCS.
We had completely lost touch. At a guess I would say fifteen years since we last spoke.
On chance I sent an email to the address on the card, and lo and behold, the result was a rendezvous and dinner at the Olive Branch in Leeds, which was very nostalgic and special, as my daughter and partner, Frances and Andrew were able to join us later.
We`re both assured it won`t be fifteen years before the next time.
Hence, I`m sure my admiration for Joe is well defined by the headline above. !!