R.I.P.

Major Ron Ferguson

Died March 16th, 2003

LONDON - Ronald Ferguson, former polo coach to Prince Charles and father of Sarah Ferguson, the duchess of York, has died at 71, a family spokeswoman said Monday.

Ferguson, who used his former army title of major in civilian life, died Sunday night at a clinic in Hampshire, southern England, after suffering a heart attack, said the spokeswoman, speaking on condition of anonymity. He had been diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1996 and had several previous heart attacks.

The family spokeswoman said the duchess, who recently spent time with her father, was on her way to Australia, where she had commitments as a spokeswoman for WeightWatchers, but would return to Britain at the end of the week. "She ... is grateful for the time she had with her father to say goodbye," she said.

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