Following the sad death of Professor Sid Watkins yesterday, the family issued a statement today which read: "Professor Sid Watkins, Formula One doctor and leading neurosurgeon, died peacefully in a London hospital last night aged 84 after a short illness. His family would like to thank everyone for the many messages of support and the touching tributes from the world of motor racing, medicine and beyond. There will be a private family funeral in Scotland followed by a memorial service in London in the coming months, details of which will be announced shortly."
Although he still retained a family home in the USA, ‘the Professor’ spent most of his retirement days in his new home in the Scottish orders overlooking the River Tweed where he could indulge his passion for fishing, good cigars and better whisky.
It was in 1978 that he became the medical delegate for the F1 World Championship following a meeting with Bernie Ecclestone, where for 26 years he fought hard to improve safety in the sport. There was much tragedy along the way, but no-one could argue that many more lives were saved by the Prof. It’s also worth noting that no more lives have been lost in F1 since Ayrton Senna’s death in 1994.
It’s also fair to say that motor-racing and motor sport in general is much safer thanks to his energy, tireless work and constant campaigning.