Page 46 - Summer2016Gazette
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        Jack Broughton 1921-2016

                                After the race he changed and   His first trophy was as Juvenile
                                then caught the bus home   Champion in 1935. When the
                                for tea with his wife who   club closed down he joined
                                had not gone to watch him   Grimsby Harriers for whom
                                at Wembley as she was not   he won the Eastern Counties
                                particularly interested, but   Junior Cross Country title in
                                asked if he had enjoyed it.   1939.
                                His mother even refused an   He did some competition
                                offer from a local newspaper   during his army service in
                                in Grimsby to take her down   World War Two as a warrant
                                to London. His games were   Officer in India but hadn’t
                                over.                   done any serious running for
                                Despite this Jack remains   some time when encouraged
                                philosophical about his   by Jacob his bearer he took
                                performance. “I did not get   it up again. After the war he
        “If I die tomorrow I have   much out of it. I was just not   went down to the Tooting
        had a good time. That’s   fit enough. I ran much slower   track in South London.
                                than I did normally”. As he   Having met some Blackheath
        what life is all about. Not   latter commented “We didn’t   Harriers including Charles
        to have won but taken   really prepare ourselves for   Wiand, he was persuaded
                                the Olympics. We were beaten
                                                        to join the club in 1947. He
        part”.                  by the teams who didn’t go to   then met Sydney Wooderson
                                war”.                   who was nearing the end
        As the story goes on July 31st   Nor was he ostracised by   of his athletic career. After
        1948 Jack Braughton took   his club. The Gazette for   training against him at the
        the morning off work and   September 1948 adjudged that   Ladywell track at Catford he
        caught a No 12 Bus from   the fact that even if “he did   was noticed by Jack Crump
        Peckham Rye and then a tube   not come through his heat   the British team manager who
        to Wembley. He was going to   reflects no discredit: he ran   ranked him fifth best on merit
        race in heat one of the 5000   very well but like the other   in Britain. He then competed
        metres for Great Britain at the   English runners found himself   against Wooderson in the 1948
        Olympic Games. Although   unable to sustain a pace such   National XC championships
        this would be the greatest   as he had never encountered.   finishing 28th in a race which
        track event he would take part   Let him rest assured that the   Wooderson won as his swan
        in, all he can remember was   club thinks very highly of   song on the competitive stage.
        “I just went in to register and   him.”         But of course Jack will be
        did my race and went. It was   The long journey to his 14   best remembered for the
        just another athletics meeting   minutes of fame commenced   5,000 metre heat at the 1948
        to me”. He came eighth in   as a junior for Cleethorpes   Olympics in which he had
        his heat and ran the 3 miles   Harriers in the 1930s. He   difficulties obtaining leave
        in under 14 minutes, but   chose running over a possible   from work in which to
        failed to qualify for the final.   career with Grimsby Town FC   compete.
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