It is with sadness that we report on the death of John Williams, aged 91, a former coach and member of Bristol Athletic Club, as it was back in the day.
John, himself a former Welsh javelin champion, was a javelin coach back in the late 60’s and 70’s, who also helped coach shot put and discus when needed. He was an excellent coach with a dedication and enthusiasm second to none. His group of athletes were coached to reach their full potentials and dreams, and many had success at county, regional and national levels.
Every Sunday morning and twice in the week, John and his group of athletes could be found at the various training grounds around Bristol that the club used. His car became a mobile javelin transporter and a possible health and safety hazard as his determination to be there with the correct equipment for his athletes came first. When not training, John often helped the club out officiating at weekend meetings both locally and nationally. He was the only official that I knew who would often lie on the ground to see if the point of a javelin had parted a blade of grass to register a ‘mark’ and therefore a legal throw.
John was a happy, friendly, engaging man, who laughed easily and was a keen supporter of the club. He had a cheery word and smile for everyone. He was relaxed and able to bring out the best in his athletes with his positive attitude and support, making training both rewarding and enjoyable.
His friendly and cheery manner meant that he maintained friendships with not only his training group but with others that he came into contact with at the club, long after they had moved on or hung up their spikes or boots.
John, on his own for a number of years after the death of his wife Babs, died peacefully at home with his family, on February 28th leaving behind his daughter Ruth and son Nicky.
Bristol & West AC offer their deepest condolences to the whole family at this sad time.
Our thanks to Sue Holden for her input to the above.