Tom Coyle

Sadly we have to report the death of a past member of Sale Harriers, Tom Coyle on Friday 17th April while out on a cycle ride in N.S.W. Australia. He moved there in the mid 1980's.

Some of you may have memories of Tom. His clubs include Edinburgh S.H. and in later years Sale Harriers.

Our thoughts go out to his wife, Carol and sons Alex and Josh and his friends and other family.

Bruce Green says;

I first knew Tom when I came to Manchester University in 1972. Although he was at Didsbury College he often came to races with the university team. After he left college he remained in touch with MUCCC (Manchester University Cross Country Club) and was elected as an Honorary Vice President in the late 1970s. I joined the same club as him, Sale Harriers, and often visited his Claremont Grove rented house: this was a series of flats, almost all of which contained runners, including Mike Dunne.

In around 1980 Tom was living in Stockport next to Vernon Park, and I moved in with him until Christmas 1982. There were many runs, and often a drink in the Midway pub which was literally a stone’s throw away.

We remained in contact and I have enjoyed receiving various items of clothing from him: every time I wear my South Sydney Robbitoh’s gear I will think of Tom!

My daughter Rachel was also upset to hear about Tom; if you remember Rachel and her partner Mark stayed with you in 2009, and she says Tom was a perfect and enthusiastic host. Inevitably Tom made her want to get a road bike…which she did!

The university cross country club have a strong tradition of keeping in contact post–university, even though for some that was 50 years ago: I emailed the following to some of the older past members yesterday:

I was shocked to hear last night of the passing of Tommy Coyle, Honorary VP, whilst out for his daily bike ride near his home in Sydney on Friday 17th April. I don’t know precisely the cause of death but he emailed last week to say he was pretty fit with five longish rides a week.

 I know several will remember him and I know a couple of you have met up with him in Sydney where he moved to in the mid-eighties as a PE teacher. He took a particular interest in rugby and was until recently a rugby fitness coach.

Tom was at Didsbury College in the early 70s but often came to races with MUCCC and joined in our activities, for which he was elected an Honorary VP in the late 1970s. He was a decent runner: 14:36 5000, 9:28.6 steeplechase, and I know he ran the Maxol marathon in 2:26.39 in 1972. He may have run faster elsewhere. A proud Scot who ran for Edinburgh Southern, he joined Sale Harriers when he moved to Manchester, and only last week was asking me about both MUCCC and Sale. Aged 71 he was still working in education and was looking forward to schools and colleges re-opening.

Tom was only 5 foot 4:  I no longer have someone to look down to…although in many respects I did of course have to look up.”


I have received a number of replies which I copy below:

Dr Patrick Milroy wrote:
That is desperately sad Bruce.

 I met him again when I was in Sydney for the World Junior Athletics Champs in 1996 and he was very good to me, showing me many of the sights and being an excellent host. They say the good die young. He was good.


Will James:

That's sad news indeed. I remember Tommy teaching us a couple of songs in days gone by. It's particularly difficult to see that he's passed away when he seemed to be so fit.

Chris Paul:

Sad news indeed

I remember runs back and forth to Stockport on the river and around Vernon Park and Woodbank Park, often popping in to Tommy's for a cuppa and a chat.


Doug Cockburn:

That is such sad news.

In the early 1970s Tommy and I were good friends. After University I lived in Heaton Mersey and worked in the City Centre and ran to work and back 5 days a week for a number of years. A training group soon formed for the morning run and sometimes for the evening return. This comprised of Tommy, Arthur Walsham (Salford H and World Vet Marathon champion) and Mike Delaney and myself (both Sale H). The morning run was always easy paced and there was plenty of chat - putting the world to rights and having a good laugh. Invariably it was Tommy who always had some story (usually very tall stories) or a joke. The very deadpan Arthur and the irrepressible Tommy were a good double act. Even on the evening run when we were doing efforts and the rest of us were gasping Tommy would still be jabbering away! The many 1000s of miles we ran together were certainly made much easier and enjoyable by Tommy's company.

After I moved back to Morpeth in 1974 we kept in touch, but after that we lost touch with each other, so it was a very pleasant surprise when about 10(?) years ago when he was visiting the UK from Australia he came up to Morpeth to visit. Like me he had been forced to give up running, and also like me was very keen cyclist, so we had plenty to talk about.

Tommy Coyle, small in stature but larger than life!

Regards ---- Doug

Jean Dutton

It is with great sadness that I announce the death of life member Jean Dutton. A true club legend has been lost and will be greatly missed; our thoughts go out to her family and friends.

Jean first went to Sale Harriers in 1983 when her son Stephen joined with his friend. His friend unfortunately didn’t like it, but Stephen loved it and decided to continue, so they started bringing him to training sessions. Their eldest son Anthony then also joined and, of course, their daughter Sarah only five at the time, had to go along too so it ended up all the family went.

Jean started helping out at some of the Primary section’s track meetings and when Stephen was chosen to compete for the club in the 800mts, she and her husband Harry both helped out officiating when they went to meetings.

In October 1992, Ann Jackson, Brian Spriggs, David Brown, and Jean decided to sit their UK Athletics Officials Level 4 qualification in their various disciplines, Jean chose Field Events starting at and finishing at Level 2. They enjoyed some good times travelling to different venues like Gateshead Stadium, Dom Valley Sheffield (now closed unfortunately) and to Alexandra Stadium in Birmingham for the Young Athletes Finals.

She told a story of one year when Stephen was to compete in the final at Birmingham. They were on holiday in Portugal due back the day before the final but, due to airline delays, they ended up sleeping on the airport floor all night. They arrived home at about 10am on the morning of the final; dropped off their cases and jumped in the car to drive to Birmingham, Oh dear! The car wouldn’t start after being left idle for 2 weeks. Thank the Lord for their good friend and neighbour John, who came to their rescue and took them all the way to Birmingham, arriving by the skin of their teeth. Stephen ran the race of his life and won.

Jean then became involved helping Jim Stapleton (RIP) with memberships and in 2000 she became membership Secretary. That has been her principle club responsibility since then along with Ann Jackson, but on top of this she continued to help the Primary section with schools cross-country events, track meetings in the summer and any other meetings held at Crossford Bridge.

She enjoyed helping as a volunteer over the years and enjoyed some good laughs and great times and made some really good friends. She was touched and honoured to be awarded Sale Harriers Life Membership in 2013 for 37 years of loyal service.

She will be sadly missed by us all at Sale Harriers Manchester.


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Social distancing measures (as defined by Public Health England as spending more than 15 minutes and within a 2-metre distance talking to someone) are now advised not only if we test positive or have symptoms, but in day to day life.  As well as current travel advice, the current UK government is advising anyone with a “new, continuous” cough or high temperature and those they live with need to self-isolate for 14 days.

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Generally children are not affected by the virus but should follow the guidance to avoid the spread of the disease.

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Road Races

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Track and field events have been held recently without spectators. These have been a great sucess. Check press for upcoming events. A calendar of cross country events has been published but is still subject to change.:

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The final match at Heaton Park brought to an end another successful league season with the club finishing teams in all eight young athlete age-groups, and winning medals in seven of them. We won the league title in the U15 boys, U15 girls and U17 women, and we were silver medallists in the U13 boys and bronze medallists in the U11 girls, U15 boys and U17 men. Pride of place goes to LUKE CARRINGTON who won the U13 boys individual league title.

Apart from the MACCL title, our U11 boys have already won county team titles for cross-country and road relay championships. In this match BEN KEELEY was 1st and, with LIAM O’BRIEN 2nd and DAN OAKES 5th, we were comfortable team winners whilst another Sale team of JAKE ROYLE, FRASER SINCLAIR and JOE EYRE finished 3rd (1st ‘B’ team). In the girl’s race, IZZY HALL (5th) and OONAGH Mc MANUS (9th) both had great runs.

Our U13 boys are triple Northern champions (Road Relay, XC relay and XC). In this race, LUKE CARRINGTON again finished 1st and, with OSCAR SCHOFIELD 2nd and MATTHEW GARDNER 7th, we were comfortable team winners. We have won the U13 girls title for the past five years but this year lost the title to Northern champions Stockport.  In this match AVA CLOUGH had a great run to finish 3rd and teamed up with IZZY APPLEBY and ELLIE GILDART to finish 2nd team.

Our U15 teams are both Northern counties silver medallists. In this match IZZY BURKE ran well to finish 4th and teamed up with JASMINE REED, CARMEN SAFRANAUSKAS and LIBBY HILL to win the team race and ensure we retained the U15 girl’s title. In the boy’s race, JACK SPARK, CHARLIE TITTENSOR and GEORGE NOBLE finished 2nd to Northern champions Wirral. Wirral boys were 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th.

Our U17 women’s team recently finished runners up in the Northern Cross-Country Championships. In this race, we finished 2nd in both the U17 races which ensures the U17 women win the league title whilst the U17 men finish in the bronze medal position. Well done to GEORGIA HEATH, ROSANGELA TERIM, LUCY ARMITAGE, CHARLIE HOBSON, ALEX JAMES and ZAC GAILLEMIN.

Senior Women.

Sophie Wood said “Funny how 4 years ago I was too scared to run as part of the Manchester Cross Country League as I didn’t think I was good enough, when yesterday came my first race win!  Only managed 3/5 races so unfortunately didn’t an overall league position but at least I got a free toothbrush and some toothpaste!” The Sale ladies took the top team prize – SOPHIE WOOD, EMMA TILLEY, EMMMA FINNEY and LYDIA BRIGGS. 2nd B team were ANNE CHINOY, ZOE Gm, JANE THOMAS and HELEN ARMITAGE. The vets team came 3rd with EMMA F, ANNE and ZOE. Zoe was 4th Vet 40, Helen 7th. ANNE 4th V45 and JACKIE CORDINGLEY 1st V60.

Cat and Caroline

Senior Men.

NICK BARRY was 2nd only 7 seconds behind the lead and 9 seconds in front of Carl Hardman. 4th team with Nick, ALEX BRADFORD, SAM ASPINWALL, RYAN WORLAND, KEN HUNT and ANDY CARLIN. MIKE CURLEY was 1st V70).

Congratulations also to the senior women who won their league by winning their 3rd match and to the men who finished runners up to Salford in their league.

More photos at Darkstar Photos. Full results at Click Here.