A former champion jockey was killed when he was hit by a car and flung 10ft into the air while racing to catch a bus, an inquest has heard.
Anthony Shrive, 76, suffered serious head injuries on February 10 last year as he dashed across the road while drunk.
Mr Shrive won the 1954 Stewards Cup at Goodwood on the unfancied 50/1 outsider Ashurst Wonder and also triumphed in the 1960 South African Derby.
An inquest heard Mr Shrive was hit by a BMW as he tried to cross the busy A41 in Tettenhall, Wolverhampton, West Mids.
Witness Timothy Vickers told Black Country Coroners Court on Wednesday: “I could almost see what was going to happen.
“He got to the edge of the pavement and literally made one big dash for it.
“The car was within two feet of him, he didn’t stand a chance of stopping.
“I could actually see the gentleman in the air, what looked to be a good 10ft in the air, upside down. He came down head first onto the road.
“There was a bus 200 yards away, I assumed he was running to catch the bus.”
Mr Vickers told the hearing he went to help Mr Shrive and noticed he “absolutely stank” of alcohol, while another onlooker dialled 999.
The court heard when police arrived to breathalyse the driver of the BMW Mark Morris, from West Bromwich, West Mids., Mr Shrive was still conscious and told officers: “There’s no need, it’s my fault – I’ve run out in front of the car.”
Mr Shrive was rushed to Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital where he developed pneumonia and died 13 days after the crash.
In 1961 when he was 25, Mr Shrive moved to Malaya to ride for trainer AP Lim, having also enjoyed success in horse races in Italy and India.
But after retiring from the sport in the 1970s he battled alcohol problems, according to friends.
One said: “He was a wonderful character but he had his demons.
“It’s typical of the man that even being flung 10ft through the air after a serious traffic accident he still tells the police not to worry and it was his fault.
“He was a very dear man with a good heart.”
Black Country coroner Robin Balmain ruled the death was due to a road traffic collision.
He said: “It was quite remarkable Mr Shrive survived for so long.
“It seems to me quite clear that he had been drinking, possibly quite a lot.”
Verdict: Accidental Death.