With the sad news of Nigel passing away at the weekend, all at HACC are thinking about his family and friends within the running community at this sad time. Below is a report written by Nigel from a reunion weekend held back in 2018, where we also had the pleasure of running with Barry Meir.
When you look back and reflect on life, as one does from time to time. Do you ever wish, that you could order a flux compasitor off Amazon, nip around to Doc Brown’s place, borrow his Delorean and transport yourself back to a significant moment in time..? Okay, so the number 9 bus is not a Delorean, though some of its passengers, do appear to have evolved from a land that time forgot. But it did transport me back to a moment in my past, that will never be forgot.
It has been a number of years since I have been back to the old place, and I have been often told, when you go back, things are never the same as they once where. So taking a deep breath, and stepping back into the men’s changing room, I was hit with a big dollop of nostalgia. It was like how Sunday mornings used to be. Just as if it was just yesterday. Murph, the Brush and Colleygate Al. Though, with a few more grey hairs these days. Les, Paul and Barry Griffiths, all kitted up and ready to run. This was truly, a reunion.
My years with Halesowen, are very precious memories indeed. Many races, training runs and adventures. Halesowen was the core of my running then, my apprenticeship in running. So, to get out over those fields again, with the guys that I ran so many muddy miles with, was something, that I thought I would never do again. So the club reunion, ticked a box.
Many thanks to all who set this up, especially Dave Turvey. It is reassuring that the legacy of the club continues, with many of the juniors of my day, now taking a role within the club. Passing on, their experiences to a new generation. The club has evolved, but still maintains its character, warmth and Black Country friendliness. Back in the day, the showers where never warm, you shared your shower with a penguin, and you always though it was Paula Radclife who first championed the ice bath. But now the club, has a great facility. There is a thing in coaching, about observation. The best place to get a full overview, is to stand back. I have stood back for a longtime, and what I see is really a great club that you all should be very proud of. I am, and always be a Halesowen AC man at heart. The club, and memories always with me, and Jack Price, always one of my running heroes.
Guess, I need to give him a mention, but you have great Chairman in Steve Millington. The club has a great feel about it. Its heartening, to still see a solid coaching structure, and the coaches that I knew still doing what they do best. Mick, Barry, Dave, Jo and Alan Smallwood, all still doing amazing work, ensuring that the next generation of athletes, get the most from the wonderful world of athletics. Like the time when at the inter counties cross country, at Shenley Fields, and Mick pointed out the winner of one junior races, as a name to look out for. One Mo Farah. Whatever happened to him…?
Like many I am getting old. I never thought that I could have more aches and pains than Paul Allen. Even, those injuries that he told me about, that I never know existed. Given that, I still enjoy running. What motives me is the great memories that I have, all forged within Halesowen. The club is very dear to my heart, I do miss it. So a big thank you from a old boy, to all who dedicate their time and efforts, in maintaining the club as it is today. Also many thanks to all present at the reunion new and old for their warm welcome and warm hospitality….