Yesterday, the funeral took place of an old acquaintance of mine, one of my mentors whom I regard as something of a legend, one of those wonderful people you always feel better for having met. He was Stan Bradshaw, a name revered throughout the fell-running world and a highly respected life member of Clayton-le-Moors Harriers. He was 97 years old.
We weren't really close enough to be called friends, but we had many shared interests and experiences in our mountaineering and fell-running lives. I regularly came across him at the annual Three Peaks of Yorkshire race where he once shouted encouragement as I negotiated a swollen stream near God's bridge, where I turned to acknowledge him and slipped in up to my thighs.
In 1993 I recall him running in both the Northern Veterans and British Veterans X-Country Championships - taking the Men's Over 80's title in both.
He features in Bill Smith's much sort after book 'Stud Marks on the Summits' which is full of inspirational characters I tried my best to emulate when I first started fell-running, but failed miserably in the shadow of such legendary giants as Stan.