By Diane Ratcliffe
By now most of you will be aware that our old and faithful friend Fred has passed away. He died in hospital after having had a successful knee operation, after which he suffered a heart attack and caught pneumonia, and alas, they could do no more for him.
Fred was 93, and had been involved in athletics for well over 50 years, when at least one of his daughters became interested in the sport. He coached at several clubs before becoming one of the founder members of the then Dacorum Athletic Club in 1976. In fact, I think he was involved with the original Hemel Hempstead Club way back when.
He went on to become a hurdles coach and timekeeper. He often used to tell us that he was responsible for steeplechaser Adam Bowden’s international career! Fred was in great demand as a timekeeper for UKA and EA, but he would always put the club first, for which we have always been truly grateful. We are going to miss his expertise, and waiting for him to catch the bus home after matches pulling along his trolley.
Fred was also ever-present at all schools matches, wherever they were held in the county, and also he could always be relied upon to officiate at all county matches and meetings. Fred was also our club treasurer for many years, served on our committee and the county committee, and was the keeper of the county ladies records.
We will miss Fred dreadfully, and our condolences and thoughts go to his daughters, son and grandchildren.