Prescotian & F1 Medical Pioneer Sid Watkins Dies at 84

By on Thursday, September 13, 2012

Professor Sid Watkins, the neurosurgeon whose work revolutionized health and safety in Formula One racing, has died at the age of 84.

Sid attended Prescot Grammar School before graduating from Liverpool University in 1956. His love of motor racing led to a position as official F1 doctor, where, from 1978 onwards, he would be first responder to any accident on the Grand Prix circuit.

In 1994, as F1 Safety and Medical Delegate, he attended to Brazilian driver Ayrton Senna, a close friend, after the crash that ultimately killed him. The tragedy led to a programme of changes to health and safety in the sport, under Sid’s leadership of the FIA Expert Advisory Safety Committee, and Formula One has never seen a fatality since.

Sid Watkins was made an OBE in 2004, and retired from his F1 role the same year.

On Twitter yesterday, Brazilian racing driver Rubens Barrichello credited Watkins with saving his life in 1994, and said he was “a great guy to be with, always happy.”


  1. Gary

    Thursday, September 13, 2012 at 10:11 am

    This man should be commemorated locally by Prescot. It is such a pity that KMBC saw fit the throw centuries of history away when they scrapped Prescot School. Wouldn’t it be fitting to have named something after him at the school?

  2. Gary

    Wednesday, September 19, 2012 at 6:54 pm

    Despite my email to KMBC they have chosen to ignore my request and no reply.

    I wonder if this would have happened if he was from Kirby?

  3. Dave63256

    Friday, September 28, 2012 at 7:09 pm

    Keep at it Gary. Knowsley MBC are just being their usual slow selves. It wouldn’t take too much effort for Knowsley MBC to set up an auto-responder on their e.mail facility. This would automatically send out a reply just to acknowledge that they have, at least, received your e.mail.

    Have you tried e.mailling all of our elected representatives? They all have laptops and they all have an e.mail address.

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