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P. 28

David Coleman an athletic career
cut short or true vocation discovered?

David Coleman who died in to organize. Conversations Gordon Pirie (Sando 2nd,
December last year was the voice with him indicated that it was Peters 9th). David even has a
of BBC sport for many years for his commitments, particularly bronze team medal from the
a whole variety of sporting events with Question of Sport, that 1952 race as 5th scorer! First
including the London Marathon. prevented him from visiting team scorer was Walter Hesketh
He was, as research by PP Mike the Blackheath Harriers who had won the race beating
Martineau reveals, the clubs Clubhouse. He knew of the Pirie by almost a minute (Peters
guest speaker who never was, Harriers as he was well aware 4th, Sando 5th). In 1953 David
and possibly the Olympian who that his all-time Athletics was 3rd scorer in a depleted
never was. Athletics Weekly can hero, Sydney Wooderson, was Manchester team that was
be a mine of information about a member. Like Wooderson he without Hesketh. Manchester
long retired athletes. This is an had won the Manchester Mile, had more or less come from
abridged version of an article in his case in 1949, the only nowhere in the 1952 National
recently posted on the club website. non-International to do so. so possibly they were recruiting
Arguably two of the most He knew Athletics so well quite heavily during the year
before and David was obviously
important tasks that a having excelled as a schoolboy a useful acquisition. By that
Blackheath President has and represented Staffordshire time he was being coached
is firstly the selection of as a quarter miler. He took by a Manchester member. As
a successor and secondly up running seriously in 1944 a miler it was something of a
obtaining a good guest speaker while in the Army and won coincidence that David’s first
for the Club Dinner. I thought the British Forces 3000m TV appearance on Sportsview
I was ahead of the game as Championship in Southern was on the very day that Roger
nearly three months before I Greece. He was demobbed Bannister broke 4 minutes for
became President I made my in 1947 and joined Stockport the mile.
first approach to a potential Harriers soon after. He had
guest speaker for the Club clocked 4.16.5 in winning We know he ran for
Dinner. It was David Coleman. the Manchester Mile when Staffordshire in the
Having also asked the likes a member of Stockport quarter mile and
of Tessa Sanderson and Chris Harriers and he ran for we know he
Brasher I ended up belatedly Manchester AC twice in was also once
with a sixth choice in Richard the National , coming a member
Nerurkar courtesy of the good 89th in 1952 then 105th of Stockport
in the 1953 race won by
offices of Jerry Barton. and then
As well as trying to get him to Manchester
come to Blackheath Harriers AC and that he
as a guest speaker for the represented Cheshire
Club Dinner I tried to at the British Games
get him to come at the White City
to the Sydney being beaten
Wooderson in a heat
Memorial by Doug
Service Wilson
which it who won
was my the final
privilege from Bill
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