Bob Champion’s Wymondham-based stepdaughter sings his film’s theme

The Norfolk-based stepdaughter of legendary jockey Bob Champion has recorded a new version of the song Champions which will be played out to thousands of horse-racing fans gathered to watch the world-famous Grand National this weekend.

The inspiring theme was written for the movie of the same name, based on the miraculous true story of how Bob, pictured below, defied cancer to win the gruelling steeplechase on Aldaniti in 1981. Although the tune has become a regular feature of Grand National coverage over the years, the new recording featuring the vocals of his stepdaughter Ali Champion, who lives in Silfield, near Wymondham, will be played to the Aintree crowds and possibly to millions of global television viewers during the build-up to an additional special race tomorrow.

Bob, who is still in recovery following a second heart attack last month, will take centre stage at the track where a legends race featuring former National-winning jockeys will mark the 30th anniversary of his poignant victory and raise money for the Bob Champion Cancer Trust.

The recording, along with photographs of Bob and Aldaniti, has gained glowing reviews from hundreds of fans after being uploaded to YouTube. BBC Dragons' Den star Peter Jones even posted a link to the video on his Twitter page which attracted 4,000 viewings over three days.

Ali, 27, said it was a dream come true to record the song which holds such a special significance to her family.

'It has been absolutely amazing. It does bring tears to your eyes anyway. It's such a moving piece of music,' she said.

'Initially it was for people suffering from cancer who have lost everything. But it can relate to people in different circumstances, not just those who are ill, but maybe for people who have lost someone or are going through other personal problems.'

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Following a diagnosis of testicular cancer in 1979, Bob was given just eight months to live unless he undertook treatment which held only a 35-40pc success rate. Meanwhile, Aldaniti faced being put down after a potentially career threatening injury.

Ali said she would feel very proud to stand next to her stepfather on Saturday knowing his heroic comeback story still inspired people today.

'There are not that many real horse-racing fairytales, so many young jockeys are inspired by it. Both prevailed against all the odds. Their determination really got them through, as well as luck and support,' she said.

Since its formation in 1983, The Bob Champion Cancer Trust has raised almost �14m.

For more information or to sponsor a jockey taking part in the Aintree Legends Charity Race, visit www.bobchampion.org.uk

Have you got a story about defying the odds? Email newsdesk@archant.co.uk.

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