Herne Hill Harriers has been paying tribute to club legend Stan Allen, who died on New Year’s Day, aged 79.
Allen spent 62 years with the Tooting-based club fulfilling many roles including hon. general secretary, track secretary, membership secretary, magazine editor, clothing secretary, cross-country captain and club coach to scores of distance runners wearing the HHH vest.
The Brixton-born runner also served as club president for two stints from 1964-65 and 1997-98.
David Cocksedge, who worked with Allen at IPC Business Press for nine years, said: “In every sense, Stan was Herne Hill Harriers.
“I first met Stan at Tooting Bec Track in 1962 when he helped Bob Fisher and I fill in membership forms for the club. Back then, he was known as ‘the Chris Brasher look-alike’ though he was taller than the 1956 Olympic steeplechase champion.”
He added: “He was crippled by injury later in life, and had difficulty in getting about, which must have been highly frustrating for such a dynamic man who could dash off a 10-mile run without giving the session a second thought.
“We will never see his like again.”
One of Allen’s former protégées Steven Downes said: “Stan devoted seemingly all his spare time either to scouting or to Herne Hill Harriers whether trackside at Tooting Bec, his second home, or marking a cross-country course in Brockwell Park, driving the mini bus (that he had acquired), selling club vests, doing the teas.
“He always had an encouraging and kind word, and a smile.”
Allen's personal bests: 1,500m - three minutes, 55.7 seconds; one mile - 4:15.1; two miles - 9:28.5; three miles - 14:45.8; six miles - 31:28.0; 10,000m - 32:49.0; marathon - 2.33:33; 2,000m steeplechase - 6:14.4; 3,000m steeplechase - 9:41.0.