Tributes to Centurions who have passed away
But they are not forgotten as their fellow walkers speak fondly of those who were once their friends.
Many recollections of daring deeds are collected together in these Obituaries pages.
Friends and family of Centurions who have passed away are remembered in the News section
John Sturgess C 829
John has sadly taken his leave of us, aged 77.
A Leicester resident, he competed with distinction for his home City Club, which promoted the 1988 Congerstone 100 Miles. A race which he completed in 19:15.58 and repeated this feat twice more elsewhere. In that race 75 started/47 finished (good fields in the 80s - even for long ones). John was one of 19 new Centurions .
It was the 5th (and last) time Leicester promoted a 100 Miles' event on their Congerstone course, as traffic levels had caused concerns. After that Leicester moved to the quiet village of Hungarton where 3 such bi-annual races were held before the curtain came down.
John was a life member of the (Leicester WC) club and being a stalwart of long distance walking, will be remembered by lots of people up and down the country for his long striding and determined style.
We have been advised that the funeral for John will be at Loughborough Crematorium on Wednesday 6th November at 12:30pm. While John may not have had a large family, he did have many friends so it is expected to be well attended.
Loughborough Crematorium - Wednesday 6th November at 12:30pm.
Leicester Walking Club are saddened by the news of the death of John Sturgess after a very short illness. John was a life member of the club and being a stalwart of long distance walking will be remembered by lots of people up and down the country for his long striding and determined style.
Sad news about John. He was a very strong walker, and did an amazing time on a difficult course.
We too remember the challenging Leicester WC courses, and have strong memories of John in the blue and white vest of LWC of which he was a committed member. John knew how to dig deep, but also had a warm smile. We shall remember him as an honoured and much valued Centurion.
Sandra (C735) and Richard (C760) Brown
John was well known for strong distance walking and he returned again at the Hungarton course, again with a quick time. I remember both courses as being tough tests which reflected John's determination.
Martin Fisher. Centurions' Captain
Rev David Watson
The Reverend David Watson has sadly passed-on aged 82, after some years of poor health. He was, for many years, Vicar of St.Bartholomew's Church in Horne (a district of Horley), in Surrey. He was an established member of Surrey Walking Club, who made his 100 Miles' debut at the 1991 Ewhurst 100 Miles, becoming Centurion 881 in 21:17.26. He relished a challenge of 100 miles, and completed another 4 UK 100 Miles races in under 24 hours - joining that group of race walkers who've completed such distances within the time allowed, on both road and track. When he qualified 45 started/31 finished of whom 10 became new Centurions - David being the first of them.
In total David finished 5 of these ultra-distance events, each time giving it his all - so much so that after 2 of his complettions he was quite the worse for wear and had clearly suffered. His well-attended funeral service was held in Leatherhead. We extend our profound condolences to his family members.
It is always sad to read of someone's passing and David was yet another nice man. Cath Duhig
I knew him primarily as a clergy colleague in Southwark Diocese, although I was aware of his exploits as a Race Walker. In addition to his main role at Horne, he was also responsible for a small church (only about a dozen regulars) in Outwood a nearby Village to Horne. Part of my diocesan work at that time was to support and encourage small churches and in that capacity I visited David at his Vicarage. Rev Nigel Stone
So sad to hear the news. Reverend David WATSON was such an inspiration to me in 1991 at Ewhurst and such a lovely human being. The news has brought tears to our eyes, as life is so precious as one grows older. With sincere condolences. May he Rest in Peace. Bill and Kath Sutherland (C890)
David was always so proud of having been a member of the winning Surrey Walking Club team in the national 100 mile walking championships and, when we last saw him, he showed us the photograph he kept of this. Alongside another David - the Reverend David [D. H. A.] Christie-Murray, also of Surrey Walking Club - David Watson was one of the Centurions' ministers of the church. Sandra Brown
Albert (Alf) Stokes C.451
ALBERT DAVID ALF STOKES R.I.P.
We're all sorry to learn that on 21st July Albert (Alf) Stokes, aged 92, died peacefully in his sleep. For the past couple of years he'd been resident in a Tamworth care home. A stalwart member of Birmingham Walking Club in his heyday, he became Centurion 451 when completing the 1970 Leicester-to-Skegness 100 Miles' event in 21:10.57, crossing the finish line on Skegness seafront in the same time as Club colleague George Mitchell (C450) who sadly died in 2013 at the age of 99. Albert put much back into our sport as he was active as both a respected Coach and as a top Judge. In the latter capacity he'd had many leading appointments, often being Joint Chief Judge at 100 Miles/24 Hours races. A funeral service at Sutton Coldfield Crematorium was followed by a gathering in Tamworth AC's Clubhouse.
Yesterday day evening I received from Mark Williams the very sad news that Albert Stokes had passed away on July 21st. Alf as everyone knew him as, was a resident in a care home in Tamworth and had been so for the past couple of years. The funeral service is to take place at Sutton Coldfield Crematorium at 10am on Wednesday 14th.August.
Regards, Glyn Jones.
Sad loss of this great man, gave a lifetime to sport, first cycling then race walking. Firstly as an athlete, then through coaching and officiating over many years. Alf, may you rest in peace. Mark Williams
Deeply saddened at loss of a very likeable guy, who supported Civil Service Championships from Tally Ho. Dave Turner