Highly respected: John Bray.

ATHLETICS: The West Norfolk athletics scene has lost one of its finest.

The death of John Bray at 72 has brought tributes from past and present team-mates and friends at West Norfolk AC and Ryston Runners, as well as the wider athletics community where John was well known and highly respected. 

Allan Williams, of West Norfolk AC, said: “John quite simply did everything for the club over many years. 

“He was an active club member from before the opening of Lynnsport and officiated, coached, drove the team bus, managed the teams and was club treasurer for longer than most can remember. At times he ran the club almost single-handed.

“John was also a fierce and talented competitor, holding club records in a diverse range of events including shot put, javelin, high jump, 400m, pole vault  and decathlon, an event in which he became Norfolk champion.

“John ran the London Marathon on four occasions from 1985 to 2004, with a best of just over three hours. In one year he completed despite a serious injury just 200 yards short of the finish. John being the competitor he was, hobbled over the line despite being in a lot of pain and barely able to walk.

“John would do anything for others or for good causes and to keep the club afloat. 

“John was one of the nicest people you will ever meet and West Norfolk AC was privileged to have him as a member. Despite illness, he never lost his love of athletics and was proud to watch his grandsons Wilf and Henry run for the club.”