Friday, 31 August 2012


On this date 1970 the sun shone brightly, the temperature was in the '20s and for me it was to be a day of great exhileration and anticipation.  By  3.3O I would be married.
 I had only just come out of short trousers, had only just started shaving, had only just stopped receiving a few pence pocket money, supplemented by own fund raising via baby sitting, delivering bread, delivering newspapers etc etc, yet was going to set up home with my  new wife  in another county. Yorkshire!
 Well that's probably how my mother viewed it.
In truth when my lung surgery prevented me from going to St. Mary's in Twickenham  I   worked for a year in a Manchester furniture office, I then  worked a winter on West Yorkshire buses and had completed the first year of my Human Movement degree course at Trinity & All Saints in Horsforth, Leeds. In short compared to my fellow students straight out of sixth form,  I felt quite mature.
 Pat had just finished her degree at Leeds Uni and we decided rather than her go back to Stockport and we continue a trans-pennine romance she should stay with me in Yorkshire.
 It was a bit strange being the old married man (at 21!) on the college course but moving out of college into our modest terraced house over the hill in Yeadon  at least would see me resurrect my commuter running as I did from home to school and later work that I did in Manchester.  Except  the  air would not be polluted by thousands of Manchester homes all burning coal.
 Most of the lads on the course were into football but I did at least develop a bit of interest in a college cross country team and we actually competed in the West Yorkshire Cross Country league which years later I would sponsor under the Complete Runner banner.
 Sadly my time at T.A.S.C. did not coincide with the year IAN THOMPSON came.  1973.
I kept being told about this post grad who was seen "going out from a run" only to return hours later.  When I met him it turned out he had finished just behind me in the English Schools in 1967.  23rd to my 18th.
 I asked him about all the long runs he had been seen doing. He said he was going to have a crack at a marathon.  The race, as they say, is history.........
 Having never raced over 10 miles before and with a goal of 2:20 in mind he proved a revelation running 2:12.40.   Selected for the Commonwealth Games in 1974 he improved further winning in Christchurch in
2 09:12. 
 In less than a year he had risen from comparative obscurity to the world's No 1 marathoner!

Meanwhile,   I was trying to resurrect my running career whilst studying for a P.E. degree and learning to be a student husband ,in every sense.
 Pat was the "bread winner" then starting work with mail order giant Grattan and  42 years later continues to be the driving force in our own business.  She is a lady of great fortitude, resilience and needless to say extremely tolerant.
                            After all she has had to put up with me for 42 years!!


  1. Happy 42nd Anniversary! The sun is shining brightly for you both. Celebrate in style and have a great day!

  2. Wishing you both a Happy Anniversary, you must have a brilliant partnership and probably most importantly, shared interests.