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18th Apr, 2021, Alastair Aitken

It was very sad news to hear that on the morning of the 10th of April 2021 Highgate Harrier John Wild died. He was born on 28th of February 1927. He joined Highgate Harriers on the 31st of May 1954.

Amongst other honors, he was the best man to celebrated Highgate Harrier Ted Fosbrook and his wife Pam Fosbrook. He was Secretary of the club from 1988 to 1991 inclusive and President in 1994.

John was awarded the South of England AA service award for Services to athletics over 40 years.  Long before he retired in his ‘80’s he did many things, including managing a ‘B’ team in the Southern League, when the interest in track and field was very high in the club. He was a successful club coach for field events. Richard Cox, always someone who loved Highgate Harriers, felt he was irreplaceable.  

After Sinead Gutzmore won the London Schools Championship 100m, and as she was also a long jumper, John told her to do the triple jump and as a novice she went on to win the Inter-Counties and have international selection. He also had a strong hand in coaching hurdlers like Matt Dore-Weeks and Cathy Dawson (White) who ran 800m in the Commonwealth Games. He also helped set up a fund with Brian and Paul Holland to support athletes. John was keen to help the lesser athletes in the club and, while Richard Priestly was managing a successful Southern League Division One team to victories, John took a Highgate ‘B’ team in hand and did well in lower Divisions.

John Wild was a master of many parts. He was in the Middlesex Regiment and was even a guard outside Buckingham Palace. He looked after the Small Ads for the Daily Mirror and became a Manager on the advertising side of the paper, amongst other things. It is the doers of the clubs like modest John that keep them successful. He will be greatly missed.