Monday 11 May 2020

Peter Dibb (1933 - 2020)

 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)
  Peter 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.
An 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.
He 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.
Later , 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.
He 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
He 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'.
Rest in peace Peter. You will never be forgotten.


  1. It is indeed sad news that your friend and Longwood Harriers runner Peter Dibby has passed away Gordon , it is a bad period indeed in Ilkley another Peter died few days ago , Peter Shields of 72 of age member of the Ilkley Harriers , a great coach and athlete and a gentleman too just like Peter Dibb . Rest in peace . Antonio .

  2. A very nice tribute, may Peter rest in peace.

    My condolences …


  3. Oh dear, that's very upsetting. Thoughts are with you and all who knew these legendary characters.

  4. We do make such good friend racing on the road/track/trails. I also have friends I have been racing for 35 years, and I hope to be racing them for another 30 years.

    I'm sorry for your loss, but thank you for sharing your memories. We who are runners love hearing running stories... memories keep people alive!

    Look after yourself.
    and keep the legs ticking over!

  5. So sorry for your loss. He sounds a wonderful friend and mentor.

  6. How terribly sad, but what a privilege for you to have known such a legend.
    Take care.

  7. From Peter Dibb daughter - livestream of funeral Friday 29th May 1pm, username, accrington3523 password is 727407

  8. Hi Gordon, I have sent in previous comment details if you wi. wish to watch the live streaming of my father's funeral. Kind regards Paula Dibb

  9. Hi Gordon, sadly my father passed away in Honley Wood due to sudden cardiac arrest. I am planning a memorial at Honley cricket club when gatherings are allowed again.

    1. Thanks Paula. Peter's death hit me hard. Very hard. I'd to do a Dominic Cummings and go away to the Dales to get over it. I share your sadness.....