Grand National winner Davy Russell has ‘bolts drilled into head’ as part of brutal recovery from horror Limerick fall

4 mins read

GRAND NATIONAL hero Davy Russell has revealed doctors ‘drilled bolts’ into his head as part of his brutal recovery from a horror fall.

Russell, 41, who won the Aintree showpiece two years running on Tiger Roll, fell at the first in October’s Munster National at Limerick.

Sportsfile – Subscription

Jockey Russell had bolts drilled into his head as part of his recovery[/caption]

His mount Doctor Duffy, a 5-1 chance, collided with a rival and fell, flinging Russell to the ground in the process.


Betfair: Bet £5 On Race 1 At Newcastle, Get £30 In Free Bets*– CLAIM HERE*

18+ T&Cs apply

T&Cs: New customer offer, Min single £5 Sportsbook bet on the 11:45 Newcastle, 28th November (‘Win or E/W’ market only). £10 free bet for the remaining Sat Newcastle races. Deposits using cards or Apple Pay only. Terms apply.


He suffered fractured and dislocated vertebrae – but arguably worse was to come in the recovery.

Russell, who is recuperating at home in Youghal, Ireland, admits he ‘dodged a bullet’ in the crash.

He told the Irish Times: “It was C6, C7 and T1. The T1 was dislocated. They put me in traction and that was horrific.

“They drilled bolts into my head and hung a weight off my head to stretch it so the T1 would go back into place.

“Every hour they would take an X-ray and add more weight. I was telling them ‘lads this is wrong, I’m in woeful pain.’

“They were asking where and I was saying the groin and hip area. They said once it’s not your neck, you’re fine.”

Russell is confined to a neck brace for now and knows there is no chance of riding again until the new year.

But he also revealed the latest injury actually improved a previous one he had that left him in ‘fierce pain’.

Russell said: “For the last ten years I’ve had to roll out of bed most mornings in pain with my hips.

“It was embarrassing for a couple of years in that I’d have to ride a bit longer than I normally would because I’d be in fierce pain.

“I had physio after physio and it was very good and effective but it would always return.

“But I’ve had no pain in my hips since they did the traction – so where there’s a negative, there’s a positive.”


Commercial content notice: Taking one of the bookmaker offers featured in this article may result in a payment to The Sun. 18+. T&Cs apply.

Remember to gamble responsibly

A responsible gambler is someone who:

  • Establishes time and monetary limits before playing
  • Only gambles with money they can afford to lose
  • Never chase their losses
  • Doesn’t gamble if they’re upset, angry or depressed
  • Gamcare –
  • Gamble Aware –

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Previous Story

Coronation Street Ryan Thomas’ dad Dougie dies, aged 72, as tributes pour in for Manchester soul singer

Next Story

Meghan and Harry latest: Duchess revealing miscarriage agony will help others, says Lorraine Kelly

Latest from Blog