Alastair Aitken
Alastair Aitken
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GERRY NORTH (1936-2014)

It was sad to hear about Gerry North dying on April the 1st (2014). He was such a pleasant and modest man I knew well since the early 1960's.
His cross-country record was most impressive. Not just for the many times he made the winning England team but his spectacular 'National' victory in 1962 when he beat Bruce Tulloh on Gerry's home ground of Blackpool and it was also the year Tulloh won the European 5000m.
   I remember Gerry winning the Southern in 1967, as he bounded over Hampstead Heath, with his long stride, considering his diminutive size and also with his trademark of a white handkerchief tied round his right hand fingers, that gave him a special look for those watching him running.
   He never took Veteran athletics seriously so, never won a title on a mere 30 miles a week in his 40's but when he actually became 50, he increased his miles to 50 a week and promptly won the Men's Southern and National titles for the Over 50's.
   He had immense knowledge of athletics, which was hardly ever tapped by those who knew far less. He took coaching seriously in his later life with some success and he was very proud of being the President of Belgrave Harriers a few years ago.

Alastair Aitken

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