With great regret we have to announce the death of Brian Eggleton on Monday.
He was a stalwart of the club committee, coaching and official groups. He will be very much missed.
His funeral is on Thursday 31st March at 2pm at Carmountside Cemetery.
Tribute from the Chairman:
Brian died on Monday 7 March aged 78. He was involved in athletics at City of Stoke AC, across the Midlands and nationally for over 40 years. As a relative newcomer to the Club and the sport, I want to pay tribute to Brian’s unique contribution as a coach, an official, and as Health and Safety Officer and Vice Chair of City of Stoke AC.
Brian was committed to field events, and to the javelin, in particular. Whether it was encouraging beginners to try a very technical and demanding event, or helping established throwers to improve, Brian was always on hand with advice and know-how drawing on his vast experience – not least in coaching his own son and grandson, both of whom competed with distinction for City of Stoke. Like all of our coaches, Brian could be seen at Northwood come rain or shine, working with athletes of all ages and abilities, giving his time and expertise with equal generosity.
It is as a highly skilled and extremely active technical official that I will remember Brian best. Brian had forgotten more than I will ever know about officiating field events. I can’t say how grateful I am to him for sharing his knowledge and experience with me. In his professional life, Brian was an engineer. He knew how things worked, and how to make them work if they didn’t. I don’t. But he was endlessly patient with me; always prepared to explain and advise. Above all, he believed in the integrity of the sport and the centrality of athletes to it.
Whether he was officiating at an international meeting – he was a regular at the Loughborough International in May – or a local league, Brian was a stickler for the rules. This wasn’t so that he could be the centre of attention; but because he wanted to be fair to athletes, he wanted them to be safe when they competed, and he wanted their achievements to be meaningful. If Brian was the field referee and confirmed a record-breaking performance, there could be no doubt that the record had gone. His attention to detail was awe-inspiring and his ability to fix things from arthritic pole vault stands to uneven triple jump boards something to behold.
Equally impressive for a man well into his seventies was his stamina. If he was field referee – which he often was, not just at Northwood but at meetings far and wide wherever reliability and integrity were valued – Brian would be at the venue early, often before the ground staff never mind other officials. With field duties allocated, everything checked for safety and compliance with the rules (he rarely had to look anything up) he would be ready to turn his hand to anything that the staff couldn’t manage. A 9 or 10 hour day constantly on his feet was nothing to him. I will never know how he did it.
Brian’s concern with athlete welfare made him an obvious candidate for the role of Health and Safety Officer. He took it very seriously and expressed his concerns to athletes and other coaches without fear or favour – and woe betide anyone who strayed across the ‘D’ as one of his athletes was running up to throw a javelin. As Vice Chair over the last few, I always knew that Brian would act with the best interests of the Club and its athletes at heart.
Like a great all-rounder in cricket or the best multi-eventers in athletics, Brian did many things, all of them with skill and commitment. Competitions at Northwood and beyond without Brian will never be the same. Everyone at the Club will miss him, even if they never knew what he did. I do know, and I will miss him very badly. Thank you, Brian.
City of Stoke AC