Racing legend Sir Stirling Moss is currently recovering in hospital following a horrific accident that saw him fall three storeys down a lift shaft – leaving the octogenarian with two broken ankles, further broken bones in his feet and damaged vertebrae, but fortunately no reported internal injuries.
Moss – who turned 80 back in September – was taken to the intensive care unit at Princess Grace Hospital in London at the weekend, after falling due to a malfunction in the lift at his central London home that led him to believe the lift was on the third floor when it was in actual fact on the fourth.
“I am sorry to have to report that Sir Stirling suffered a bad accident at the weekend,” British Racing Drivers' Club (BRDC) spokesman Stuart Pringle told the Daily Mail
. “Lady Moss has just telephoned me and although Sir Stirling is not in good shape, he is no longer in danger.
“As a result of a malfunction of the lift in their home, the lift doors opened on the third floor when the lift was waiting at the fourth floor. Sir Stirling stepped through the doors on the third floor and dropped three storeys down the lift shaft to the concrete base.
“He broke both ankles and four bones in his feet in the fall, as well as damage to some vertebrae. Amazingly, he did not suffer any internal injuries. He was initially admitted to London Hospital and then moved yesterday following the intervention of Professor Sid Watkins to Princess Grace Hospital, where he was operated upon.
“It is hoped that Sir Stirling will be moved from intensive care later today, and Lady Moss says he is in remarkably good spirits and already complaining about the size and quality of the hospital breakfast!”
Moss is widely considered to be the greatest racing driver in F1 history never to have claimed the sport's ultimate prize, the world championship crown. Often pipped to glory by legendary Argentine adversary Juan-Manuel Fangio – the top flight's first multiple title-winner – he triumphed in 16 of his 66 grand prix starts between 1951 and 1961, and only narrowly missed out on the laurels in 1958, beaten by just a single point by countryman Mike Hawthorn, even though he emerged victorious in four races that year to his Ferrari rival's one.
After retiring in the wake of a near-fatal, career-ending accident at Goodwood in 1962 – one bad enough to leave him in a coma for a month and partially paralyse the left side of his body for half a year – Moss has recently introduced himself to a whole new legion of fans through his voiceover work on kids' television show Roary the Racing Car
To read the official statement on his fall, click here