Alastair Aitken
Alastair Aitken
Alastair Aitken's
Interviews and

Dave Chapman (Interview Autumn 1998)

Dave Chapman (Born 21.8.36) ran the 3000m Steeplechase in 8:46.4 on cinders in 1962. Before that he brought his time down to 8:50.6 in his heat of the 1960 Rome Olympics. Back in 1959 he was Inter-Counties Steeplechase Champion, at a time the Inter-Counties was as hotly contested as the AAA's Champ's. He was fifth in the British Empire & Commonwealth Games Steeplechase in 1962 in Perth Australia. He represented Great Britain on eight occasions from 59-62. He joined Woodford Green Athletic Club when he was sixteen years old.
   In 1998 I talked to him after  he was in Woodford' so winning 'Over 60' team in the Southern Vets Road relay in Rushmoor Arena, Aldershot. About that he said:-
   " I have always belonged to the one club Woodford Green athletic club and in truth quite a few of the people that joined the club when I did have maintained an association with the club. We have a very strong vets section it seems, of people who became 40 years old as vets.'
   Dave Chapman has had a time consuming job
   " I have always been in the meat trade, starting in the 1950's and been in it ever since. Nowadays I market stock for local farmers where I live. You can imagine with the last three years with BSE you would not say that the meat trade has been very boyant  (Talking of course in 1998).
   When he looked back at those ' International Years'  what races gave him satisfaction I wondered!
   Friendly rival Dave Stearns from his club ran 8:55.6, and also there was Sparkhiil's, Maurice Herriott (8 times AAA's Champion). and bespectacled Dave Chapman used to run with him in international matches and did beat him a few times

   ' Early on, but in Tokyo in 1964 Maurice got the silver medal in the Olympic steeplclehase. He was a better competitor than I was. When I look back we all played at it with comparison to-days standards. We all trained relatively hard but we did not really regard other ancillary parts of the sport important as they do these days. Things like diet.'
   What memories stuck in Dave Chapman's mind from when he was in his prime then
     ' I think to be honest they were associated round the club. The things like the London to Brighton Road Relays, with a couple of coach loads of people supporting you, which was allowed in those days and, various other road relays."

Alastair Aitken

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