George Smith, 1929-2016
Eton Manor AC 1943-2016
George joined Eton Manor AC in July 1943 and consequently had been a member for 73 years until his passing in November 2016. George was our life president for 18 years with his last race for the club in August 2001 when at the age of 72 he clocked a time of 39 minutes 05 seconds in the club 5 mile handicap.
George deliberately took up athletics because people remarked he would not be as successful at football as his father, who played in two FA Amateur cup final wins and one losing final for Leyton FC in the late 1920’s and early 1930’s.
George was a natural sportsman and dedicated himself to highly successful athletic career over many decades.
My own memories of George are of a graceful stylish runner always immaculately turned out. I remember him on the start line of a race tucking in the label of another club members vest. He was always willing to help and support fellow athletes, passing on training tips to help anyone new to the sport.
When I joined Eton Manor in 1973 George was the club number one runner even though he was in his early forties, this time coincided with the start of the veterans’ competition. George competed in the first ever international veterans meeting held at Crystal Palace in August 1972 and went on to win county, area and national titles in various age categories.
George’s road bests as Vet 50/60 still stand as club records:
|Distance||Event||Time||Category + Age||Date|
|5 mile||City of London 5||27.32||V50 (50)||1st Jan 1980|
|10 mile||Woking 10||55.43||V50 (50)||24 Feb 1979|
|Half Marathon||Romford Half||76.50||V50 (50)||24 March 1979|
|Half Marathon||Roding Valley||82.05||V60 (60)||5 March 1989|
|Marathon||London||2hrs 44mins 20 sec||V50 (52)||April 1981|
Present day courses:
|League||Distance & Course||Time||Category + Age||Date|
|Chingford League||8k Victoria Park||26.20||V50 (50)||April 1979|
|Baton Relay||1.1m Leyton||5.47||V40 (40)||1969|
|Baton Relay||1.1m Leyton||5.57||V50 (50)||1979|
|Assembly League||3.5m Victoria Park||18.34||V50 (51)||August 1980|
By Tom Everitt.