Alastair Aitken
Alastair Aitken
Alastair Aitken's
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Andy Green (May 2020)
25/11/42 - 18/4/2020

"I never heard a bad word said about Andy' remarked his brother in Law, Mike Tagg, the European 10k silver medalist of 1969 . He went on to say regarding Andy's fatal Heart attack on the 18th of April this year 'That was not helped by the fact that his wife Mary Tagg (1968 Olympic 400 semi finalist) was unwell and in hospital in a worrying situation and, that they had a burglary, while she was in hospital.
In his life Andrew Green had good influences in the three clubs he belonged to. To begin with Salford Harriers, then  Hadleigh Olympiads and finally Southend A.C. It  was in 1963, when he was 20, that Andy Green (6'1/160lbs in old measurements) came down to London and had his international debut. They must have noted that he had run  a 1:50.5/880. It was on the boards at  Wembley, with the tight corners and short straights. He came 2nd to Bill Crothers, the Canadian Olympic silver medalist in Tokyo in 1964. Crothers did 2:14.00 to win. Andy also came 2nd in 2:12.05 behind American Robin' Ralph' Lingle, who ran to an All Comers Record of 2:10.5. with Andy on 2:12:00. He comes in here "In the Crothers race I did not really think I stood a chance of even making the final. I only went along to Wembley to put in an appearance in the AAA's title race so that I would not be overlooked for the future invitations. In 1963 he lived in Manchester but felt that, although the competition in the area was good, with Sale Harriers, he was likely to be in the limelight in the South in the London Area. He added 'My girl friend Mary Tagg was in the South and doing the 400/880 . They married in August 1965 and lived at Leigh on Sea.They have two sons Michael and David (An Essex Junior 800 Champion)   Andy came to live in the South firstly as an insurance man in the City then, he turned to teaching which he found more satpsfying to do (Metal and woodwork).

In 1964 he was unlucky not to make the Olympic team but, after running a good hard race then, shortly before the selection he was required at short notice to do another one which was a bit too much for him to cope with. In 1968 he had certain specific training problems so, he just missed out again. On the plus side it was in 1964 he set a new North of England mile record at Blackburn on 25th of August, winning in the  first sub 4 minutes in the North of 3:59.20 with Derek Ibbotson 2nd in 4:1.04. As a pure matter of interest to BMC, after winning insurance races he was 2nd in the BMC Mile Championships, at Motspur Park in 3:59.4. It was in 1965 he ran his life time 1500 best of 3:57.7 on the White City cinders. In the World Student Student Games 1500 in 1967 he was 2nd in 3:46.7 behind 1968 Olympic bronzer medalist Bodo Tummler of Germany (3:43.4). I think Andy considered his most special race was winning the AAA's championship mile in 1967 Andy Green takes it up " Down the back straight 4 got away. I thought I had blown it. The front group then' although well ahead,  slightly slowed. I gradually made up the large gap in the back straight. I was then in the mix with 180 to go and as we entered the straight John Whetton, started to go for home and I raced up the straight and managed to take him before the tape. I ran just about under 56 seconds for the last lap to do 4:00.61".

Andy Green had a break from athletics for work reasons for the family from 28 to 40 then, became an Essex Veterans Middle dstance Champion at 40 and again at 50.

Andrew Green was very popular in Essex and would advise anyone. He also enjoyed the athletic successes of Mary and Mike Tagg and his son David. He certainly will be missed.

Alastair Aitken

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