An appreciation of a great athlete and mentor who went missing on VE day and was subsequently found the following day in a wood near Honley where he'd apparently suffered a fatal heart attack.
|Peter Dibb R.I.P |
(photo courtesy of the Huddersfield Examiner)
raced into my life in June '88 when, as a mere amatuer, I was running
the Examiner 10 mile road
race in Huddersfield.
At numerous points along the way there were shouts of 'Come on Dibby'
and it was obvious that whoever Dibby was, he was just behind me.
Crossing the Finish line I turned to see a tall figure smiling down
at me and offering a cheery 'well done'. It was Peter Dibb.
unassuming character, it was some time before I became aware of his
cricketting and hockey prowess for he was an all round athlete who
excelled in various disciplines. Being of roughly the same age, he
became an immediate friend who steered and advised me in various
aspects of road racing and track etiquette. He'd been racing since
school days whereas at the age of 55 I was just beginning.
was a member of Longwood Harriers and eventually persuaded me to join
too. Down at their track on Leeds Road I'd watch him doing repeat
miles, long striding and stylish. Poetry in motion. A joy to
watch. He'd usually do 4 repeats, all of them at 6 minutes
each, which was pretty nifty for someone approaching 60.
, he introduced me to the Northern Veterans Athletic Club. Each
Wednesday we'd drive over to Lancashire to train with various members
in runs round Hollingworth Lake, Barrowford, Haigh Hall or Pendle
Hill. We were in stellar company - Arthur Walsham who'd won
multiple World Veteran titles at 25K and a 2hrs 21 min marathon
runner, Jack Betney who'd run the Pennine way, Maurice Morrell, an
Olympic javelin thrower and a winning 10,000 metre runner, Alan
Heaton who'd held the record for the Bob Graham Round and various other top class runners - so we had to
be on our toes. Besides being a formidable group to train with they
were all wonderful people whom I was greatly privileged to meet.
Thanks to Peter.
took me to prestigious venues, Don Valley stadium, Dorothy Hyman
stadium at Cudworth, Stanley Park, Blackpool and joined me at
Alexander stadium in Manchester where we tingled with excitement
walking into dressing rooms that had been graced by famous athletes
from around the world. Such places inspired one to run faster,
brought out the best in us. There I had my greatest achievements.
Thanks to Peter
was exceedingly versatile. At Track and Field meetings he'd often go
through the card running all the races with the high jump, discus,
javelin or shot putt thrown in for good measure.
An incredible character and a true gentleman.
I was lucky to have such an amazing friend and mentor. He inspired, coaxed
and encouraged me to 'become more than I could be'.
in peace Peter. You will never be forgotten.