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RIP Prof Sid Watkins


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#1 Giraffe

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 20:41

There are reports as yet unconfirmed by the media that the Prof has passed on this evening.

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#2 Richard Jenkins

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 20:46

http://f1actual.com/...ece-sid-watkins

RIP, Sid. :cry:

Hero is an overused word sometimes, but not for this man. The fact Martin Donnelly and Mika Hakkinen are still with us, is largely down to him, and others too. I only met him once, at an event that the equally remarkable Steve Olvey was launching, or promoting (I forget which) one of his books, and he was as I expected him to be - a charming, somewhat humble man, entertaining and a gentleman.



#3 jj2728

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 21:15

Oh no, RIP Professor Watkins.

#4 skyblueracer

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 21:22

There are reports as yet unconfirmed by the media that the Prof has passed on this evening.

such sad news R.i.p. Prof Sid


#5 John Ginger

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 21:35

That is sad news, RIP Professor Watkins


#6 garyfrogeye

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 21:36

Oh dear. I just finished reading his book "Life at the Limit"!
RIP Prof Sid Watkins

#7 Odseybod

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 22:29

How very sad (and unexpected?). We've so much to thank him for.


#8 Dennis Hockenbury

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 22:58

Prof. Watkins was in a very small and elect group of individuals that I sincerely admired. While his many contributions to motor sport are alone enough to have warranted my enduring admiration, his service to society as a noted and respected neurosurgeon far surpasses his stature within the F1 community.

He was indeed worthy of all the accolades he received during his life. And yes, he was a hero to many, including myself.

The world will remain a lesser place without his presence.

RIP

Edited by Dennis Hockenbury, 12 September 2012 - 23:05.


#9 JacnGille

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 00:14

Sad news!

#10 Hank the Deuce

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 00:37

Very sad news! I was thinking of Prof last night while reflecting first on the anniversary of Ronnie Peterson's passing, then Gilles, Paletti, Ratzenberger, Senna, Prioni's accident, and so many of the blights on the good times... Prof Watkins certainly endured the cruellest moments that the sport has dispensed, often amidst examples of his own personal heroism (I believe he sustained burns while tending to Riccardo Paletti, for example), but was personally responsible for preventing so many others from paying the ultimate price.

If this had been his life's only work, it would've been enough. But there was more.

Vale Sid Watkins, another link to past and fondly-remembered days of giants of our sport for one, saviour of so many.

#11 David M. Kane

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 04:24

God Bless his Soul RIP

#12 David Birchall

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 04:29


B**ger-one of those who meant so much-what a contribution he made--RIP.

#13 eldougo

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 05:57


The introduction of the medical car with Sid in it that sticks in my mind as he had a grin from ear to ear.

RIP Professor Watkins a lot of drivers have you to thank.

#14 philhitchings

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 06:16

A sad day for the sport. My thoughts are with his family :(

#15 Hamish Robson

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 07:11

My wife works with the FIA Institute of which the prof' was a former president, consequently she knew this lovely man well and we heard this yesterday evening. Very upsetting news, Sid had been unwell for a while and was with his family.

A man with a huge legacy, RIP Sid.

#16 Graham Gauld

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 07:25

A truly charming and inspiring man and full of enthusiasm. It was he who persuaded Ayrton Senna to go to Edinburgh to give a talk to the schoolchildren at Loretto School where Sid's grandchildren were being educated and where Jim Clark and Anthony Reid were schooled. Sid then took Ayrton down to the village of Duns and the Jim Clark Museum which Sid told me left Ayrton moved. He signed the visitors book and that page has been carefully kept.
Warm , open hearted and amusing he certainly will be well remembered by everyone who met him

#17 AAGR

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 07:28

Repeating, and agreeing, with all that other respondents have written.

I worked with him once or twice - including presenting one of the Watkins lectures at the NEC. with Sid making the hilarious opening speech. This is a special memory.

He was a great man, in all the correct meaning of those words.

Why can't other people in F1 be as nice and straightforward as he was ?

AAGR

#18 f1steveuk

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 07:31

A lovely bloke, with a wicked sense of humour, and totally selfless. I used to love chatting with him in the paddock. He was instrumental in getting Soames Langton back to the UK, and ensuring he got the right treatment.

I bumped into him once in the paddock in Montreal, he stopped me, asked how Soames was, just as BCE's "henchman", Pasquale came over as I had the nerve to talk to him, "f=*# off, we're talking" was all Sid said. I was taken aback, but it did give me a laugh. Great, great man.

#19 E1pix

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 07:42

Thanks for saving our Heroes.

RIP

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#20 B Squared

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 09:31

I never met Dr. Watkins, but so admired him and his dedication to the sport - this really hits me hard. RIP

I wrote his following words down when I read them in Autosport in the May 7, 1998 issue. For some reason I was moved by them then, and continue to be:

"I still think about Ayrton a great deal. I dream about him alot. It's one of the problems of old age, you know: you dream more. There are two or three people in my life who have affected me alot - my father, the neurosurgeon at Oxford with whom I trained and Senna....and I dream about them constantly. And I hate it, because they are alive and well, and then you wake up, and you have to face it again that they're gone."

#21 cpbell

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 11:16

Dreadfully sad news. He was on the BBC coverage of one of the Grands Prix earlier this season - I think it was one of the Red Button post-race programmes - and he looked frail then.

Edited by cpbell, 13 September 2012 - 11:17.


#22 paulsenna1

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 12:21

I hope he will now go fishing with Ayrton.

Great man.

#23 alansart

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 14:37

Sad news.

It's very rare that someone has universal respect in F1. It's such a bitchy place, but Sid rose above all that and thankfully we are all left with his legacy.

RIP Professor Sid Watkins and thank you for everything.

#24 Garagiste

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 14:52

Godspeed Sid, thankful that I got to nod in recogition at you once. Hope they're biting.

#25 dnhrudi

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 15:50

Just saw an excellent tribute from Barrichello on CNN, said that he died for 6 minutes at Imola and that Sid Watkins saved his life. Go to rest Prof, you earned it....


#26 Gatmo

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 17:06

Sad news indeed.

The racing fraternity will be all the poorer for his passing.

Thanks for everything you did, Prof, you will be greatly missed.

#27 irvine99

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 17:17

RIP Sid...

#28 Suzy

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 18:25

RIP Sid. Thank you for everything you did - not just in motorsport but in neurosurgery too.

Enjoy the whisky and cigars Sid - you deserve them!

#29 ryan86

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 18:27

Dreadfully sad news. He was on the BBC coverage of one of the Grands Prix earlier this season - I think it was one of the Red Button post-race programmes - and he looked frail then.

http://www.bbc.co.uk...rmula1/19583654

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#30 wolf sun

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 21:41

This is very sad news.
RIP Prof.



#31 RogerFrench

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 03:28

Professor Sid was responsible for saving my son's life when he performed surgery on him in 1991. Our family will be eternally grateful to the great man.
R.I.P.

#32 Tim Murray

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 11:28

His obituary by Alan Henry in the Guardian:

http://www.guardian..../14/sid-watkins

#33 Gold

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 20:34

His obituary by Alan Henry in the Guardian:

http://www.guardian..../14/sid-watkins


Sid Watkins to me is one of those very rare people famous for having done something amazing in their lives, yet whose personality and character still surpasses that specific achievement.

Hearing of his death saddened me because it meant I would never be able to meet him.

#34 Hamish Robson

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 08:51

It was Sid's funeral yesterday in Scotland.

Once again, RIP.

#35 ensign14

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Posted 21 September 2012 - 20:51

BBC Iplayer: Last Word

#36 kayemod

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 12:21

I was catching up on some Internet reading today, when I read Joe Saward's item on the Syd Watkins memorial service. The final line struck me as desperately sad, a truly miserable comment on what F1 has become, and a terrible reflection on many of the people involved.

"No current Formula 1 drivers were present."

There's really nothing to add to that, is there?


#37 Tim Murray

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 12:54

To be fair, Watkins retired from all his various FIA medical roles at the start of 2005, so a lot of the newer drivers wouldn't have known him. Of course that doesn't excuse the six who were around when he was involved. :well:

#38 kayemod

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 13:20

All perfectly true Tim, but Syd was responsible for changing the whole system, so whether they knew him or not, newer drivers are as much in his debt as those who raced when Syd was active in F1. Don't want to cast blame unfairly without seeing a full attendance list, but Mika Häkkinen's name wasn't mentioned, and there's no doubt that he 's alive today because of Syd. Ron was present, so maybe he was there on Mika's behalf.

#39 Vitesse2

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 13:26

To be fair, Watkins retired from all his various FIA medical roles at the start of 2005, so a lot of the newer drivers wouldn't have known him. Of course that doesn't excuse the six who were around when he was involved. :well:

Again to be fair, Tim, I would guess that on the day of Sid's funeral they were all in the air on the way to Singapore.

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#40 kayemod

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 13:33

Again, "to be fair", Syd's memorial service was in London last Friday, January 18th.

#41 Vitesse2

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 13:37

Again, "to be fair", Syd's memorial service was in London last Friday, January 18th.

:blush: Ah, my mistake - I'd confused the two events.

As you were ...

#42 Tim Murray

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 13:54

Ron was present, so maybe he was there on Mika's behalf.

I think you're right, Rob - I can't find Mika's name in any of the online reports on the service. As a world champion, if he'd been there I feel sure he'd have got a mention.

http://www.crash.net...remembered.html

As I understand it the funeral was a private family event, so no-one from F1 would have attended or been expected to attend.

#43 Phil Rainford

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 14:16

If any F1 drivers were actually planning to attend and trying to get into the UK via Heathrow on Friday they would not have made it.

PAR

#44 Hamish Robson

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 09:49

There was much disruption due to the adverse weather here in the UK. Mrs Hamish was there and said it was a wonderful event - many of the great and the good were present and some excellent, although unrepeatable, anecdotes were spun by both F1 and medical luminaries.

#45 ryan86

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 11:57

Perhaps I'm young and naive, maybe because my network of friends is the majority still intact, but are we not a bit in danger of "you must attend, so I can know that you care enough" situation. There's been a book of condolence available in the Singapore paddock as well as a minutes silence on the grid I believe, plenty of opportunity to send personal correspondence, and all seemed keen to pay tribute on TV. Maybe the current F1 drivers (or at least some of them), live in their own personal bubble, but I think this feel a bit like trying to stir up trouble. The current F1 fraternity haven't completely ignored him.

#46 cpbell

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 22:03

Perhaps I'm young and naive, maybe because my network of friends is the majority still intact, but are we not a bit in danger of "you must attend, so I can know that you care enough" situation. There's been a book of condolence available in the Singapore paddock as well as a minutes silence on the grid I believe, plenty of opportunity to send personal correspondence, and all seemed keen to pay tribute on TV. Maybe the current F1 drivers (or at least some of them), live in their own personal bubble, but I think this feel a bit like trying to stir up trouble. The current F1 fraternity haven't completely ignored him.



I'm more concerned at the sudden departure immediately after Sid's passing of his colleague and friend Dr Gary Hartstein, though I've just seen an article outlining his replacement, the ex-Chief Medical Officer at Silverstone, Dr Ian Roberts. I'm sure that Dr Roberts will do a fine job, but, as Hartstein was Sid's right-hand man for much of the second half of his tenure, it seemed a bit too hasty to lever him from his job so soon after Sid's passing.