Page 40 - BBHAC Winter 2015-16 Gazette
P. 40


   Tony Weeks-Pearson


Past President Tony Weeks-        where he won the silver medal    Blackheath’s Johnny Withers was
Pearson’s long and eventful life  in the 5000m with an excellent   8 minutes behind Tony in the
came to an end in March 2016      14.49. He was also a UK record   Poly Marathon and he, about 7
at the age of 84. He had been     holder for 3000m indoors,        weeks later, ran 2.31.08, an 18
in poor health for some time,     won several mob matches          minutes improvement on his
suffered with dementia and had    and county titles and was a      Poly run, and this was still the
almost totally lost his sight.    consistently good performer at   Club record when Tony missed it
Tony’s long association with the  the highest level.               by just 15 seconds 10 years later
club dates back to 1949 when      He was twice 11th in the         in 1967.
he was elected to membership      National Cross Country           He did the questionnaire in
on 4 April that year. His         Championships in 1955 and        Athletics Weekly in 1958 and
application was in the name       1958 and also 11th in the        one question was: “which
of Anthony James Pearson          Southern in 1956. He was twice   performance gave you most
of Hastings, Sussex and as an     joint winner of the Varsity      personal satisfaction and
under 19, he paid 10/6 for a      Cross Country race, the first    why”. His reply was: “the 2nd
year’s subscriptions. He had      time with Chris Chataway in      handicap spoon in the mob
been proposed for membership      1952, and was Cross Country      match against SLH, I always
by Sydney Wooderson, who          Captain at Oxford.               thought this impossible under
also became his Coach, and        He never won the Kent Senior     handicapper George Brooks”.
seconded by Sydney’s brother      Cross Country title but was      Anyone thinking today that they
Stanley. He remained close        an individual medalist 5 times   have been hard done by Club
to the Wooderson family and       and four times in successive     handicapper, Chris Haines, it
spoke so eloquently at Sydney’s   years was either 2nd or 3rd.     was ever thus!
funeral in January 2007 and       He did win Kent 20 and           Alan Brent made him a Vice
again at the Memorial Service     Kent Marathon titles. Other      President in 1967 and the late
held the following September.     achievements included being      Don Gillate chose him as his
In his prime he was a top class   Army 1 mile Champion and         successor, as Club President in
athlete, who represented Britain  junior champion in the Sussex    1990. In his message to the club
in the World Festival of Youth    1 mile and Kent Cross-Country    in the Summer 1990 Gazette
and Students (now called the      titles. In 1960 he won the Club  he stressed the importance of
World Student Games) of 1953,     10 mile championship with a      progress for new heights of
                                  time of 54.59.                   achievement by the club. He
                                  In time he moved on to the       outlined his aims and objectives
                                  Marathon and in the 1957         for Blackheath Harriers during
                                  Poly Marathon he would have      his term in office, which
                                  broken Charlie Busby’s existing  included social evenings for
                                  Club record of 2.34.06, but      parents, a series of informal club
                                  on a blistering hot June day     coaching/training forums and
                                  he came 5th in 2.41 some 4       a club coaching/advice Register
                                  minutes behind the winner.       which would “list some of the
                                  This winning time was some       dozens of experienced athletes
                                  15 minutes slower than usual.    who could be approached for
                                  He ran his fastest marathon      consultation and help”.
                                  in 1967, 2.31.23, missing the    He urged members and friends
                                  Club record by just 15 seconds.  to attend Young Athletes
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