Last amended at 19 February 2024

Alan Bennett

With heavy hearts we are sad to announce that the Tonbridge AC Club President and previous KCAA Secretary Alan Bennett passed away on Friday 9th February 2004 after a short spell in hospital having been fighting illness during the last 18 months. We will all miss him, especially his shouts on encouragement on the county cross country circuits. 

Alan was a massive influence on the development of TAC over the years and the very best supporter at events, encouraging everyone.

Alan was Secretary of KCAA from 2011 – 2018, during which he led the restructuring of governance, leaving us in a much better shape then when he joined. When we did a revision (following COVID) he was delighted to hear that his key work remained unchanged and had allows us to operate today. 19-02-24 

Ron Hale (1927 – 2023)

With the death aged 98 of Ron Hale, Kent AC has lost one of its greatest servants. Ron joined Kent AC aged 21 in May 1947. Thus started 76 years of membership, a 61-year career as a competitor, more than 50 years holding various committee posts, plus countless hours coaching and officiating and he was involved in the South of the Thames Cross Country Association.  

From 1967 he was on the KCAA council and acted as a selector for road and cross-country teams from the mid-1970s until 1996; and regularly managed county teams for more than 20 years.

He also served as President of KCAA (2001 – 2002)

Ron will be remembered fondly by those who knew him. He was warm, welcoming, encouraging and generous with his time for others. Those that didn’t know him must surely be impressed by and grateful for his lifetime of service to and enthusiasm for our club, county and sport. 19-02-24

David Maynard

His son, Graham Maynard wrote:  - Dave Maynard of Cambridge Harriers passed away early this morning (17 September 2023), just a couple of months before his 90th birthday. Some may be aware Dad's lifelong partner, Vicky Maynard, passed away just four weeks ago and Dad's health declined since then (they were married for 65 years). He was at home, looking out over his garden, one of his passions. Dad ran schools cross country at Roan School in Greenwich and joined Cambridge Harriers in 1951. During National Service in Malaya (with 22 SAS Regt), he ran in the Malayan Games in Penang.

Dad represented Kent County for road running, race walking, was a qualified Starter for many years and was proud to be Kent County President in 2000 (and later Chairman in 2004). He was also club president for Cambridge Harriers in 1975 and 1998. Often out in wet and cold weather, officiating and spectating at cross country races into his 80s, I'm sure he will still be clutching his clipboard and stopwatch, giving encouragement for all of us to keep going. 18-09-23

Mike Rowbottom

It is with sadness we report that Mike Rowbottom (aged 89) died (April 2022?) peacefully in the care home he had been resident in for several years since the death of his wife, in the presence of a long-time friend & teaching colleague.

At his club (Tonbridge AC) he held many positions but probably for most he will be remember as a coach.

The role within the County he will most be remembered for was as Team Selector/Manager, as well as serving as President 2005 - 2006. When we were looking to restructure the management of KCAA, Mike was a very regular member of the Council. When it was suggested it may be abolished his only word was “Delighted”. 4-04-22

Derek Garrard

It is with sadness we need to report that Derek Garrard was taken to hospital last week after suffering from a stroke, from which he did not recover and sadly died on the 21st March 2022.

At his club (now Medway & Maidstone possibly GEC when he joined) he had a passion of coaching athletics.

His County roles were as Starter and Team Manager which he did for may years, as well as serving as President 2008 - 2009. 30-03-22

Eric Nash

Hilary Nash writes “ With regards to the death of Eric Nash, a thanksgiving service was held at St Helen’s Church, Bishopsgate, EC3A 6AT on Friday 3rd September 2021. 12-08-21

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Eric Nash peacefully on Wednesday morning (16 June 2021). Eric was a former Secretary of the Southern Men's Association,  Secretary and President of Cambridge Harriers, President of the South of England A.A., South of England Cross Country Secretary and President of the English Cross Country Union amongst many other roles and honours. 18-06-21

John Neale

It is with the greatest sadness that I have to inform you all, that at one time the stalwart of Kent Athletics John Neale, passed away on Boxing day after a short illness. I had received a phone call this morning from his daughter Tracy, saying that he after a fall at home he was taken to hospital two weeks ago.

For those of you who did not know John, he was the Kent Officials Secretary before me and he was a hard act to follow, as he was a most meticulous man in the way he worked. He was a great support and mentor to those officials in which he saw potential. John became an official in the same way as many of us, as his daughter was a very good athlete and was a member of Dartford Harriers.

He and the family had gone to watch a GP at Crystal Palace and was more interested in watching the officials than the action on the Field of Play, that as one marksman was walking past him, he called him over and asked how he could become one of the Blazer brigade! The official in question was Ian Deaves (husband of Susan) who then guided John on the first steps to becoming the great official he was.

I believe John was probably the best Marksman that we have had in the UK and he was the instigator of the Call Room system in the UK after a Grand Prix meeting at Crystal Palace many years ago, where he realised that the athletes needed to be 'rounded up' before their event as many used to go AWOL!

Regrettably after his elder son died in tragic circumstances and then lost his beloved wife Joan, John stepped back from athletics but was still interested in what was going on in the athletics world.

There are many of us who benefited from Johns knowledge and encouragement over the years and I believe that those who work in his discipline of Starter& Marksman in Kent are of a special quality because of Johns knowledge being cascaded down.

As Officials Secretary John pushed on committee for Kent to be using new things like EDM & Photofinish, which again put Kent Athletes & Officials ahead of the game and is something we have tried to continue in the endeavour to provide quality competition in the county.

John highest achievement was to be Chief Marksman (Chief Starters Assistant) at the 2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games. Alas he was in his 80's when the 2012 Games were in London as I am sure he would have been there.

Kind regards

Gill Freeman (Officials Secretary) 8-01-20

Ken Gilbert
It is with great sadness that we report that Ken Gilbert (Past President & at one time Vice Chair of KCAA) passed away on Monday 20th May 2019.

Ken was very much involved with Kent athletics as well as at Regional and National level as a Field Judge. When ill health prevented Ken from doing that, he and Marion still came along to the Kent Champs & Sportshall, doing their bit to promote the need for officials and helping out in non-technical roles.

The funeral took place on the 7th June 2019 at Barham Crematorium Barham Near Canterbury Kent CT4 6QU followed by a celebration of his life at Broome Park Barham Kent CT4 6QX. 23-05-19

Wendy Daniel
Sad to report that Wendy Daniel, our Track & Field Secretary, died on Tuesday 18 September 2018 aged 69, she had been unwell with Lung Cancer for some time.

Wendy Daniel has had a long dedication to athletics and for many years was the Administrator of the National Junior league but as a member of Blackheath & Bromley we in KCAA were fortunate that when she stood down from the national appointment she joined our T&F committee as Secretary & also as KYAL Administrator.

With a small working group she set about modernising the league with her focus being on athletes and the importance of as many as possible had a chance to compete. During this time we saw considerable growth and it is clear that the growth seen there has been reflected in U13 & U15 championship competition which stems from their first experience in the KYAL, and our Cambridge Harriers club member Noel Carmody (a National Walks Judge) is sure that the KYAL has been a reason for so many young Kent Walkers appearing at national level.

I think Kevin Winch (a KYAL Team Manager) sums up the feedback we have received “So sorry to hear this sad news thoughts with family and friends, and thank you for all the support Wendy gave the young athletes in the KYAL”

Wendy’s funeral took place on 10th October 2018 at the new Kemnal Park Crematorium, A20 Sidcup Bypass, Sidcup BR7 6RR. 24-09-18

Daphne Reed
I am sorry to have to inform you that Daphne Reed has passed away at the age of 90 after experiencing ill health for a while. Daphne was a member of Bromley Ladies (now part of Blackheath & Bromley) for many years and a well-respected Track Referee and gave a great service to Kent and the South of England. Personally Daphne gave me a lot of sage advice and I shall be forever grateful to her.

Gill Freeman (Officials Secretary)

Bob Matthews

It is with great sadness that we have heard, Bob Matthews, MBE, former Medway A.C athlete, has died, aged 56.

Many of us will have fond memories of Bob’s time with Medway A.C. Bob, who was visually impaired, won a total of 13 Paralympic medals in athletics and set 22 world records ranging from 800m to the marathon. Bob later emigrated to New Zealand whom he then went on to represent in cycling and triathlon.

Our thoughts are with his family.

Hon. Sec
Medway & Maidstone AC

Paul Alcock

KCAA is sorry to announce that Paul Alcock (Field Official) lost his fight with cancer earlier in the week (29 January 2018).

Lin Neeves Medway & Maidstone Secretary penned the following tribute:

“Paul was a former Chairman of M&M and was instrumental in getting sponsorship towards the track facilities at Sutton Valence School as well as negotiating with Medway Council before the opening of the track at Medway Park. He was a former high profile football referee and although he gave up refereeing after a highly publicised incident, he still remained active in the background. What appeared to be football's loss was athletics gain as he became a qualified field official and volunteered for London 2012 and the Invictus Games.”

He will be sorely missed in the both the Athletics & Football Community in Kent. 10-01-18

Len Murphy 20-10-16

KCAA unfortunately has to report the death of Len Murphy (a Past President of KCAA) who passed away on the 17th October 2016 from cardiac arrest and pneumonia after a prolonged period of illness.

Len had a first taste of athletics when he worked for CAV in Rochester and they used to have a big annual athletics meeting of all their factories.

Dick Adams, a Cross Country England International introduced him in the late 50s to the City of Rochester Athletics Club, and that was the start of his long association with club & county athletics in Kent.

His events were mainly 440yds to 1 mile on the track and Cross Country and Road Running in the other seasons.

The 50s also saw the start of inter Company track leagues and Len, now working for Elliots which later became GEC, was one of the foremost 'pioneers'. When the City of Rochester AC amalgamated with Maidstone Harriers in 1968, Len left Rochester to form a combined Elliots/Aylesford Paper Mills Athletic Club. Later Aylesford folded and Len became Secretary of now GEC Athletic Club, and with Bill Alexander, who was General Manager at GEC when it changed built one the strongest Clubs in Kent as history recorded on many county trophies show.

In the early 70s he went onto the Kent Committee and although he would never take a Secretary’s post, he did serve on the 'active' committees for a number of years and until only 4 years ago KCAA committee meetings & Awards Dinner were held in GEC venues which Len had secured on an ongoing basis for us despite now having long since retired.

In 1998 he became the 9th President of the KCAA after which he continued to serve on the Committee (which became the Council) and helped at both Track & Field & Cross Country; in later years sitting on the registration desk; which for those who know our Championships can be cold locations and was always willing to offer warmth from his hip flask feeling the cold.

He was never took coach or official qualifications but was the reliable regular volunteer helping wherever needed and will be greatly missed.

With thanks to Denis Foxly for providing the basis of this obituary.



A Tribute to the life and athletics service of Dave Holder (1945 - 2016) from England Athletics 6-06-16

Read Gill Freeman's 'letter' to Dave...

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