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GP legend Phil Read announces he is back in hospital after cancer diagnosis

Seven-time GP World Champion Phil Read confirms he is in hospital being treated for prostate cancer, just months after contracting COPD lung disease

Phil Read


Seven-time Grand Prix World Champion Phil Read is in hospital battling prostate cancer at the age of 82, he has confirmed.

One of the UK’s most decorated and successful motorcycle racers, Read announced on his personal social media channels, saying: “I'm sorry, friends. You haven't heard much from me lately. The reason: I'm back in the hospital to have my prostate cancer cured”.

It is not the first time Read has been forced into hospital this year having also contracted Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), a difficult to cure lung disease that hampers breathing and reduces energy.

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COPD during this period of COVID-19 is a particular concern with the prospect of catching the coronavirus - which can make breathing particularly difficult for even healthy people - making it very difficult to recover from.

However, doctors had been able to stabilise it, allowing Read to return home in June, according to his son David, who works for Ducati North America. Alas, he is now in hospital for a different ailment now.

Despite his advancing years, Read - who has been honoured with an MBE - has remained remarkably active within the motorcycle racing industry and even as recently as 2015 participated in the World GP Bike Legends at the Silverstone Classic Festival, lining up alongside the likes of Freddie Spencer and Randy Mamola on a V4 Suter.

With the death of John Surtees in 2017, Read is now Britain’s oldest surviving motorcycle World Champion.

Read won a total of seven Grand Prix World Championships, including two 500cc titles with MV Agusta in 1973 and 1974, plus 8 Isle of Man TT wins.

Competing between 1961 and 1976, though Read often had to vie for attention with countryman Mike Hailwood, his 52 career GP wins ranks him ninth on the all-time list.