Alastair Aitken
Alastair Aitken
Alastair Aitken's
Interviews and

Andy Holden the Legend (22/10/48 - 5/1/14)

Andy Holden set a UK record for 3000 steeplechase of 8.26.4 in 1972, ran in the Olympics, European and Commonwealth Games and was a National Veteran over 40 cross country Champion, amongst other things including winning the Bermuda Marathon and he raised money for Charities.

"I was so sorry to hear about the death of Andy Holden, probably the most charismatic club runner the Midlands has ever produced. Memories flood back to watching his many runs in Tipton's winning teams. To see Andy coming round Keepers Pool at Sutton Park, his red hair, slightly stooped with his ground eating economical stride and the shouts from his supporters, as he gave 100% for his club Tipton. That was something he was even more keen about than his international fame as a marathon, steeplechase or cross-country runner for that matter. That 'Great' Tipton Harrier, Ron Bentley, told me "It was when we had Holden, Rushmer and Mike Kearns who were mates, we were never out of the first three in the National road relay for years' Till then we had a good 'engine room' but we had not got the 'Stars' like that to carry us through."
Not  only was Andy Holden a successful dentist and club coach but he enjoyed his social life with many a pint raised. He was also very supportive of Birmingham University when he ran for them and they won the big University races and, running with Andy, improved such runners as Malcolm Thomas who went on to win the 'National' at Sutton Coldfield in 1972.
I went up to Birmingham quite a few times and interviewewed Andy, John Wheway, Tony Milovsorov and Allan Rushmer (his special training partner) but it was Andy's amazing pub parties afterwards that stood out. He really knew how to enjoy his athletics life, in a way that is not done so much now. He was from that same Dave Bedford era when we had so many 'World Class' men and they loved their beer too!"

Alastair Aitken

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