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.