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ENGLAND ATHLETICS HALL OF FAME

England Athletics Hall of Fame inductions took place on Saturday, 14 October 2017 at Ricoh Arena, Coventry and three of our former athletes were inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Godfrey BrownGodfrey Brown was the first inductee into the Hall of Fame. He broke the British 400 metres record at Berlin Olympics in 1936 in his semi-final when he ran 46.7. The final was held on the same day as the semis and with less than 150m to go, the American favourite Archie Williams was two or three metres ahead. Godfrey stove valiantly to overcome the deficit but at the tape he was just 7 inches short in a time of 46.68. It was also a European record and as a British record it survived until 1958. The tables were turned in the 4×400 metres relay after his team mates gave him the baton 5 metres in front of the Americans and Godfrey drew right away to win the gold medal by 15 metres in 3:09.0, the second fastest time ever and a European record.

A teacher by profession, he was the headmaster of Worcester Royal Grammar School from 1950 until his retirement in 1978. He died in 1995, aged 79.
Stuart StoreyNext of our inductees was Stuart Storey who was a good Club member representing the Club regularly. He trained hard at Loughborough College, while qualifying as a teacher, then in 1967 he made his breakthrough at 110m hurdles, improving his best time from 14.7 to 14.1 to rank equal fourth on the UK all-time list. In 1968 he made the Olympic team, equalling his personal best of 14.1 in his heat in Mexico City. He ran 14.1 again in 1969, competed in that year’s European Championships and 1970 Commonwealth Games, and retired from racing following the 1971 season.

Storey began coaching one of the most recognisable figures in athletics. Geoff Capes was only 15 when Storey began to instruct him in the art of shot putting. Capes became a two time European indoor and Commonwealth games champion, and a household name.

Storey then became a familiar voice and face on television. His first Olympics as a commentator was in Montreal in 1976. He would go on to broadcast at all subsequent Olympic celebrations as well as numerous World and European Championships and Commonwealth Games. These days, well into his fifth decade as a professional broadcaster, his activities include coverage of the IAAF Diamond League meetings.

Mark Lewis-Francis 02Mark Lewis-Francis was our last inductee into the Hall of Fame as a member of Athens Men’s 4×100 metres Relay Team. In 2004 Athens Olympic Games he ran a triumphant anchor leg in the 4×100 metres relay to hold off USA’s Maurice Greene and take the British team to gold in the 4×100 metres at the Olympic Games – making him the youngest British Athletics Olympic champion since 1936. While the American “dream team” suffered a calamitous exchange between Gatlin and Miller, the British runners- none of whom had made the 100m final – made splendid progress. Marlon Devonish succeeded in handing the baton to Mark two metres ahead of the USA and Nigeria and even a storming anchor by Maurice Greene proved insufficient.

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