Many of you will have already seen or heard the sad news regarding the passing of Bob Parker last Saturday, 20th January, at the age of 88. There is a warm tribute to Bob on the England Athletics website together with details of the funeral arrangements which are copied below. Athletics Weekly also has a nice tribute to Bob here.
Personally I only ever trained with Bob’s group sparingly but such was his welcome you would have thought I was a regular in his group working hard 3 times a week – anybody and everybody was free to come and go. If the intensive track sessions weren’t your thing you could always pop round to his and dear Sylvia’s house on the Ridgeway on Thursday evenings and rub shoulders with the great and the good! There were always international athletes and ordinary club runners alike running around Bob’s 1, 2 and 4 mile circuit. I do recall running some of those reps with Olympic stars – it was all very inspiring whilst Bob just stood there calmly outside his garage calling the splits and jotting down times.
The pictures below were taken at Bob’s 75th birthday party (2005) and the more recent one shows Bob in familiar pose at the Bannister track in 2011 enjoying the athletics and happy to talk to anyone with time to spare – that was Bob through and through.
Funeral details: 11am Wednesday 7th February, Hendon Cemetery and Crematorium, South Chapel, Holders Hill Road, London NW7 1NB.