Mike passed away in the hospice on Friday 2nd September, aged 72 years, supported by his wife and son. The funeral will take place on Monday 12th September at 11.20 am at Burnley Crematorium.
Bob Mitchell, a good friend of Mike’s, writes: Mike joined the harriers in 1976……(just before I joined!) He was very helpful indeed to me in my first couple of years with the harriers, guiding me around the training routes and taking me to lots of races as I didn’t own a car until I had been running for a couple of years. We travelled to races as far afield as the Edale Skyline in Derbyshire, the Three Peaks in the Yorkshire Dales, the Borrowdale and Langdale races in the Lake District and many more too.
He came to the harriers through his passion for the outdoors and his love of rock climbing. Mike has maintained life-long friendships with his climbing friends, a number of whom also joined the Harriers and they have all been members of a mountaineering club called the ‘NORI Club’…..The club name speaks for itself! (For those who not aware of the name – it is associated with the Accrington Nori Brickworks). They have continued to have weekend meets at various climbing huts in the Lake District.
Since joining the harriers in 1976 his preference of course was for fell running but he also ran in many road races and cross country events too. I can recall seeing him on TV crossing the line in the second, (I think it was), London Marathon to be run. Although Mike never attempted the Bob Graham Round he manfully set up fixed ropes on Broad Stand on the descent of Scafell Pike for my attempt and for several others in the 1980’s.
I think Mike’s best performance in a race was at the Three Peaks Race in the mid 1980’s where one year he ran a superb time of 3 hours 15 minutes, well in front of the rest of us!
Mike, his wife Susan, and myself organised the original Great Hameldon Hill Race in 1979 and for three more years to 1982 before we had to suspend the race due to the building of the Accrington Easterly By Pass which cut through the course. (Of course after the road was completed Paul Healey dutifully took over the organisation in 1986!)
As injuries and advancing years crept up Mike started watching Accrington Stanley in 1999 and had been a season ticket holder for many years since. He was well known on the Stanley Fans Web forum as an astute observer of all things Accrington Stanley. He used the web name ‘REDRAINE’.
Mike had battled bravely with serious illness for around the last nine years but always remained positive and bubbly. He did his best in his efforts to continue to live a busy life. Mike was much loved by his family and friends and will be missed by all those who were close to him.