at 14 January 2020
John Neale’s funeral will take place at 12:40
on Friday 31st January 2020 at Barham Crematorium, Canterbury, CT4 6QU.
Gill Freeman is our link with the family
(email@example.com ) and
if you plan to attend please can you let her know, so that she can
advise the family on numbers and they can sort out catering.
“It is with the greatest sadness that I have to inform
you all, that at one time the stalwart of Kent Athletics John Neale, passed
away on Boxing day after a short illness. I had received a phone call this
morning from his daughter Tracy, saying that he after a fall at home he was
taken to hospital two weeks ago.
For those of you who did not know John, he was the
Kent Officials Secretary before me and he was a hard act to follow, as he
was a most meticulous man in the way he worked. He was a great support and
mentor to those officials in which he saw potential. John became an official
in the same way as many of us, as his daughter was a very good athlete and
was a member of Dartford Harriers.
He and the family had gone to watch a GP at Crystal
Palace and was more interested in watching the officials than the action on
the Field of Play, that as one marksman was walking past him, he called him
over and asked how he could become one of the Blazer brigade! The official
in question was Ian Deaves (husband of Susan) who then guided John on the
first steps to becoming the great official he was.
I believe John was probably the best Marksman that we
have had in the UK and he was the instigator of the Call Room system in the
UK after a Grand Prix meeting at Crystal Palace many years ago, where he
realised that the athletes needed to be 'rounded up' before their event as
many used to go AWOL!
Regrettably after his elder son died in tragic
circumstances and then lost his beloved wife Joan, John stepped back from
athletics but was still interested in what was going on in the athletics
There are many of us who benefited from Johns
knowledge and encouragement over the years and I believe that those who work
in his discipline of Starter& Marksman in Kent are of a special quality
because of Johns knowledge being cascaded down.
As Officials Secretary John pushed on committee for
Kent to be using new things like EDM & Photofinish, which again put Kent
Athletes & Officials ahead of the game and is something we have tried to
continue in the endeavour to provide quality competition in the county.
John highest achievement was to be Chief Marksman
(Chief Starters Assistant) at the 2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games. Alas
he was in his 80's when the 2012 Games were in London as I am sure he would
have been there.
Gill Freeman (Officials Secretary)
It is with great sadness that we report that Ken Gilbert (Past President
& at one time Vice Chair of KCAA) passed away on Monday 20th May 2019.
Ken was very much involved with Kent athletics as well
as at Regional and National level as a Field Judge. When ill health
prevented Ken from doing that, he and Marion still came along to the Kent
Champs & Sportshall, doing their bit to promote the need for officials and
helping out in non-technical roles.
The funeral will take place on the 7th June 2019 at
14.00 at Barham Crematorium Barham Near Canterbury Kent CT4 6QU followed by
a celebration of his life at Broome Park Barham Kent CT4 6QX.
Sad to report that Wendy Daniel, our Track & Field Secretary, died on
Tuesday 18 September 2018 aged 69, she had been unwell with Lung Cancer for
Wendy Daniel has had a long dedication to athletics and for many years was
the Administrator of the National Junior league but as a member of
Blackheath & Bromley we in KCAA were fortunate that when she stood down from
the national appointment she joined our T&F committee as Secretary & also as
With a small working group she set about modernising the league with her
focus being on athletes and the importance of as many as possible had a
chance to compete. During this time we saw considerable growth and it is
clear that the growth seen there has been reflected in U13 & U15
championship competition which stems from their first experience in the KYAL,
and our Cambridge Harriers club member Noel Carmody (a National Walks Judge)
is sure that the KYAL has been a reason for so many young Kent Walkers
appearing at national level.
I think Kevin Winch (a KYAL Team Manager) sums up the feedback we have
received “So sorry to hear this sad news thoughts with family and friends,
and thank you for all the support Wendy gave the young athletes in the KYAL”
Wendy’s funeral will take place on 10th October at 12:30 at the new Kemnal
Park Crematorium, A20 Sidcup Bypass, Sidcup BR7 6RR.
Reed - Obituary
I am sorry to have to inform you that Daphne Reed has passed away at the age
of 90 after experiencing ill health for a while. Daphne was a member of
Bromley Ladies (now part of Blackheath & Bromley) for many years and a
well-respected Track Referee and gave a great service to Kent and the South
of England. Personally Daphne gave me a lot of sage advice and I shall be
forever grateful to her.
If any of you wish to attend the funeral it is on the 4th May at 12 noon.
This will take place at St Johns Church, Blindley Heath, Surrey. If you
could please let Chris Head-Rapson or myself know if you wish to attend so
that the family will be aware.
The instruction is that attendees do not wear black and that there are only
family flowers and any donations should be made to Alzheimers UK.
Gill Freeman (Officials Secretary)
It is with great sadness that we have heard, Bob
Matthews, MBE, former Medway A.C athlete, has died, aged 56.
Many of us will have fond memories of Bob’s time with
Medway A.C. Bob, who was visually impaired, won a total of 13 Paralympic
medals in athletics and set 22 world records ranging from 800m to the
marathon. Bob later emigrated to New Zealand whom he then went on to
represent in cycling and triathlon.
Our thoughts are with his family.
Medway & Maidstone AC
KCAA is sorry to announce that Paul Alcock
(Field Official) lost his fight with cancer earlier in the week (29
January 2018); Gill Freeman will be emailing details of the funeral,
once known, to all officials.
Lin Neeves Medway & Maidstone Secretary penned
the following tribute:
“Paul was a former Chairman of M&M and was
instrumental in getting sponsorship towards the track facilities at
Sutton Valence School as well as negotiating with Medway Council
before the opening of the track at Medway Park. He was a former high
profile football referee and although he gave up refereeing after a
highly publicised incident, he still remained active in the
background. What appeared to be football's loss was athletics gain
as he became a qualified field official and volunteered for London
2012 and the Invictus Games.”
He will be sorely missed in the both the
Athletics & Football Community in Kent.
KCAA unfortunately has to report the death of Len
Murphy (a Past President of KCAA) who passed away on the 17th October 2016
from cardiac arrest and pneumonia after a prolonged period of illness.
Len had a first taste of athletics when he worked for
CAV in Rochester and they used to have a big annual athletics meeting of all
Dick Adams, a Cross Country England International
introduced him in the late 50s to the City of Rochester Athletics Club, and
that was the start of his long association with club & county athletics in
His events were mainly 440yds to 1 mile on the track
and Cross Country and Road Running in the other seasons.
The 50s also saw the start of inter Company track
leagues and Len, now working for Elliots which later became GEC, was one of
the foremost 'pioneers'. When the City of Rochester AC amalgamated with
Maidstone Harriers in 1968, Len left Rochester to form a combined Elliots/Aylesford
Paper Mills Athletic Club. Later Aylesford folded and Len became Secretary
of now GEC Athletic Club, and with Bill Alexander, who was General Manager
at GEC when it changed built one the strongest Clubs in Kent as history
recorded on many county trophies show.
In the early 70s he went onto the Kent Committee and
although he would never take a Secretary’s post, he did serve on the
'active' committees for a number of years and until only 4 years ago KCAA
committee meetings & Awards Dinner were held in GEC venues which Len had
secured on an ongoing basis for us despite now having long since retired.
In 1998 he became the 9th President of the KCAA after
which he continued to serve on the Committee (which became the Council) and
helped at both Track & Field & Cross Country; in later years sitting on the
registration desk; which for those who know our Championships can be cold
locations and was always willing to offer warmth from his hip flask feeling
He was never took coach or official qualifications but
was the reliable regular volunteer helping wherever needed and will be
With thanks to Denis Foxly for providing the basis
of this obituary.