Merrick Bousfield

Merrick Bousfield June 2006

Merrick Bousfield June 2006

Merrick Bousfield joined Sefton Harriers in 1986 he had previously been with Waterloo AC,  a multi event in his early days with Waterloo he continued to compete in multi events for his first few years with Sefton before concentrating on the throws and specialising in the hammer . He was an active member of the Sefton track & field team which competed in the Northern League, in addition to this he was the club treasurer a role he continued after the merger with Pembroke. An account by profession Merrick first working at the Inland Revenue before venturing out into private practice he worked for a number of accountancy firms
After the merger he became an active coach within the club building a strong squad of throwers who won medals at area competition, he was also appointed coach to Isle of Man and made frequent visits for coaching and also traveled with their teams to competitions.  Reading the comments below you can see influential he was as a coach and what an impact he had on local athletics.
On Thursday evening the 7th December 2006 Merrick attended his normal coaching session at Edge Hill university Ormsirk. While moving the hammer cage gate he took ill,  an ambulance was called he was taken to Southport hospital but sadly died before he arrived. He was 57

11th February 1949 – 7th December 2006

 Robbie Wood 22nd January 2015 (updating club website)

I was stunned when I heard of the untimely death of Merrik. I had known him for only a few years through the ACNW but my description would be a knid, thoughtful, gentle giant. He will be greatly missed by athletics and in particular the North West. I am sure that his club and the athletes he coached will continue to achieve their full potential in his memory.
Roger Devlin
Hurdles Coach ACNW.

I was totally shocked when I saw the Merrik Bousefield news on the Northern AAA website. I only met Merrik at Veteran meetings after I turned 50. He always had a smile and would offer help to anybody. Just a lovely chap who will be missed.
Brian Hatch/Chelmsford A.C.

So sad to hear of Merriks’ tragic and sudden death. He was a true gentleman who loved the sport of athletics and passionately gave freely of his time and experience to benefit others.
Tom Carson
Merseyside Athletics Development Officer

My wonderful friend Merrik.
I had the honour and privilege to coach alongside this ‘great man’ – who will be spoken of, with great affection, long after I am gone.
He was an inspiration to anyone who knew him, whether they were athlete or coach. He was my inspiration to keep going, even when times got tough.
The club will never be the same without him, but we will keep going on in his memory, to help fulfil the potential he so richly nourished in all of us.
Merrik took my daughter Rachel, to Portugal this year, (warm weather training). The stories that came back Merrik told me, only last week, that he was not responsible for the antics the ‘girls’ got up to on the last night. I will miss our chats across the hammer cage!
His stature, his humour and his love for athletics will be dearly missed by everyone that had the honour of knowing him, I am proud to be able to say, “I knew Merrik Bousfield”
My love and deepest sympathy goes to his lovely wife Val
and his children Merrik (Jnr) and Helen.
All our love ‘Dude’
Rose and Rachel Hutchinson
Liverpool, Pembroke and Sefton Harriers

Merrik coached me for 3 years, I originally started at Edge Hill with the intention of running but I found that I did not like the running and I had a go at the Javelin. I soon discovered with Merrik help that I could throw the Javelin and Merrick coached me for sometime before encouraging me to have a go at some other field events such as the hammer and the discus. With Merrik support and encouragement my confidence grew as well as my ability. I entered many competitions and Merrick was always encouraging me even if he could not attend the event he would ring me and ask how I had done. Merrick has always been there for all the young athletes and he will be sadly missed but never forgotten.
Please send our condolences to all Merrik family.
Tony West and Family

When I heard of Merrik’s death it took my breathe away, I was told by one of my closest friends and I broke down in tears. Merrik was my coach for 6 years, from the very first moment he started coaching me he always believed in me and said that I would go far in the world of athletics, and from that day on he never stopped believing in me.
He spent a lot of time with me over the years more than anyone else, with coaching and weight training, most of the time missing out on spending time with his loving wife Val, to this I will always be grateful.
Merrik not only was my coach but my friend and a second father, he was not like normal coaches he was special, he cared about all of athletes.
I will miss him with all my heart, he will never be out of my thoughts.
I hope that in carrying on with my athletics and succeeding, that it will make him proud and to finish the job that he started.
My thoughts are with his family every day, (and in the words of Merrik – ‘See ya later dude’)
Natalie Walsh

I was deeply saddened to hear of the loss of a Merrik – a fantastic person, incredibly talented and committed coach, and a genuine role model for athletes and coaches alike. He will be sorely missed by all those who knew him and my heartfelt condolences go out to Val and family.
Michael Hunt, England Athletics, Regional Manager – NW

Merrick must have joined Sefton Harriers shortly before I did. I remember I first met him when he gave me a lift to a Northern League Meeting. When I became Track and Field captain Merrick was always very helpful, especially in sorting out the field events. He was a real dedicated club member, and he and Val’s hosting of the Formby beach race for a number of years personifies his dedication to all aspects of club life. Merrick was always good company, and took a keen interest whatever level the team were competing at. He was wholehearted in his commitment to LPS when the clubs merged. He will be sadly missed.
John Halson

I first met Merrick and Val about 14 years ago. I was John’s “new” girlfriend and was introduced to the Sefton Harriers “gang” at one of the Christmas meetings. I was struck by the warm and friendliness of both Merrick and Val as they welcomed me into the fold. Merrick was a kind, caring, knowledgeable man, and I enjoyed the time I spent in his company. I remember one of the Formby races which was hosted by Merrick and Val. It was a lovely day and Merrick and Val made it a very special occasion. I remember the day was filled with fun, good humour and laughter. I noticed the way Val and Merrick cared so deeply for each other. It was lovely to see the way both of their personalities complimented each other. Merrick will be sadly missed. My heart goes out to Val at this very sad time.
With deepest sympathy to Val and all of Merrick’s family.
Pat Halson.

Please pass on my condolences to the family and club, he will be sorely missed a great loss to athletics and athletes. A big man with an even bigger heart, he has left a large hole in the local athletics scene that will never be filled by one man….RIP Merrick.
Joe & Mike Ehlen

Such a shock and so sad to hear of Merrik’s passing. It’s over a decade since I competed for Sefton, but I’ll remember Merrik as a thorough gentleman. The kind of man we should all aspire to be. He was full of humour, enthusiasm and integrity, and always had time for others. A real “club man” who was always willing to stand in the cold during the winter to help the club, even though he was a very much track and field athlete.
My condolences to Val and his family at this sad time.
Nick Hoyle Sefton Harriers 1981-1991

Learning of Merrick’s sudden death really shocked me, as it did the rest of our family. I only came to know him through Anna’s involvement in throwing the Javelin at LPS.He was very kind, and a true gentleman and was always there to urge Anna on with kind persuasion and support during training sessions and competitions. Even when it was impossible for him to attend a competition due to commitments with other athletes, he would always call to ask her how she got on in her events that day.It was very pleasing to see how supportive he was with his other throwers and they rewarded him by winning competitions and medals.
He will be greatly missed by all of us, may God Bless you Merrick.
John, Joan, Philip and Anna Taylor

Please extend my condolences to Merrik’s family – what an awful thing to happen to one of the nicest guys I knew.
Merrik was a big man in every respect, his size, his talent, and his heart – and a huge influence on the athletes he coached.
We will sorely miss him at LPS, but he will always be remembered by us with much admiration and affection.
Dave McComb LPS ex chairman

Merrik had only been my coach for just over 18months but during that time he changed my opinion of athletics and gave me more confidence and determination to succeeded in what I did. I would have liked to had had the chance to thank Merrik for everything he did. I know he will be greatly missed as not only a coach but also a friend. i hope I can make him proud in the future.
Helen Clowes x

Sorry to hear about the sad, untimely passing of a very helpful and caring man. Sincere condolences to his family and all at LPS.
Robbie, Tricia, Theresa and Andrew Allan, Liverpool Harriers

A very sad loss to LPS and athletics. I remember Merrik asking how John Morris and I coped with Lands End to John o’Groats with a mischievous smile on his lips. A lovely fella.Please forward my and Mu’s condolences to Val and family
Richie Webster

Our thoughts are with Val, and Merrik’s family, at this time of sorrow. Merrik, Val and her mum have become our friends as well as Helens coach, they have stayed with us frequently over the past few years. Without Merrik guidance and enthusiasm Helen would have been at a loss. Merrik had become part of Manx athletic life, and he will be greatly missed.While he was here he liked to walk on the beach and collect stones and rocks, geology was one of his many interests. Many of the training weekends on the Island were spent in not ideal weather conditions, cold, wind and rain, Merrik never complained, though the throwers often did, but his enthusiasm got them through.
With fond memories
Margaret and Lawrence Sheen.

The news of Merrik’s death came as a devastating shock to me. Merrik was a great man and a fantastic coach who always put so much effort and enthusiasm into athletics. Without Merrik I wouldn’t have made anywhere near as much progress and had as much success. Merrik always put confidence in me whatever the circumstances and always provided great support and encouragement at competitions whatever the location.
Me and I’m sure everyone who knew Merrik will miss him sorely.
Andy Taylor, Javelin x

I was devastated  when I was told by a family member of Merrik’s that he had sadly passed away. I only knew Merrik for two years but he took me under his wing and made me feel I had known him a lifetime. I am so appreciative of the time, the love and the effort he gave me and other athletes in the squad. I don’t only feel like I have lost the most amazing coach but a best friend and a second dad, Merrik helped me through some hard times in my life and helped comfort and I am forever grateful. I wish I could thank him for all my success because I wouldn’t have been able to do it without him, but now my athletics career will be filled with determination and strength, I know he would be proud of me. I send me love and support to his loving wife Val, and I promise Val I wont let you down.
Becci Keegan LPS squad member x

It was with deep sadness that we heard the news about Merrik. It is hard to believe that he will not be with us next season. As an athlete, a coach and an official he always gave 100%, always willing to help and advise, even when he, himself, was competing. Nothing was too much trouble. Competitions were always the better for his participation, even if we had to keep moving the cage gates for him!!!! Our thoughts are with his family at this very sad time.
Sue and Chris Wilding

Merrik devoted a lifetime to the sport of athletics, both as an athlete and a coach. His contribution to the coaching of young people was immense and so many have gone on to achieve great things. He would always be there at matches and competitions to encourage and motivate – nothing was too much trouble.Edge Hill will not seem the same without his towering presence next to the hammer cage. He has left a gaping hole that will be impossible to fill.
Deepest sympathy to Val and family
Wally Bridson  Chairman LPS

Most of the tributes seemed to have come from the field event fraternity but when I first met Merrick in the Inland Revenue in the 1960’s he was a sprinter with a PB of 10.1 for 100yds and a former Yorkshire long jump champion. We had a lot of fun and success over many years competing in the relay at the Revenue Sports.
He was until his transfer down south the extremely competent secretary to the Merseyside Civil Service Sport Council and contributed considerably to the acquisition of the Ground at Long Lane Thornton. He was a good friend and I remember particularly our holiday walking The Pennine Way. In those days Merrick was a sprinter and was trying to lose some bulk. After starving himself for a few days and collapsing with exhaustion we forced him into a chippie and treated him to double fish and chips a la Alf Tupper. There was no holding him after that and I still remember one particular hot day following about 400yd behind him croaking ‘Merrick the oranges’ this being our only source of fluid. We said something else to him when we finally caught up with him at our destination that evening. (jokingly of course).
A great bloke I honestly can’t think of anything bad to say of him. I will miss him .
Ray Krausse
Inland Revenue, Liverpool Harrier and formerly Liverpool Boundary Harrier

Merrick was a lovely man, who helped and inspired everyone who was lucky enough to know him. I know the Isle of Man has lost a true friend and an honorary Manx Man. We will all miss him. I would like to pass on Bernie & my condolences to his family and also to Liverpool Pembroke & Sefton
God Bless,Merrick.
Di Shimell Manx Harriers.

Even though Merrik only coached our daughter once or twice at the North West Squads at Edge Hill he always showed real interest in how she was doing at every competition he was at in which our Vicky was throwing.
Sincere condolences to his family.
Geoff, Julie and Vicky Johnson

I was shocked and saddened to read about Merrick. I met Merrick when we both worked on the ACNW squads and more recently with the Regional Performance Squads. He was one of the nicest men you could wish to meet and I will always have fond memories of him. A great coach who dedicated his time to helping those achieve their dreams. Please pass on my condolences to his family.
I cannot imagine ACNW without him but I am sure he would want the organisation to carry on with the progress that he helped achieve. We will always remember Merrick.
Pat Spencer

Sad to say I cannot remember when I first met Merrik. It is nearly 23 years ago that I joined Sefton Harriers and it seems Merrik has always been there.Perhaps one of my earliest memories of Merrik was when I was at a Track and Field meeting helping out at the Shot Putt. Merrik unobtrusively came up and quietly told me I should mark from the edge of the indentation and not the centre. This led to me subsequently becoming a qualified Field Judge! It was the starting point of our association and friendship that lasted over 20 years. A friendship that includes Val and family. Helen and I have always regarded them as special friends. We extend our sincere sympathy.
Helen and Derek Pellat LPS

In the years I have been involved in Coaching I got to know Merrik well through ACNW and at the track. Merrik was one of the nicest blokes I have ever come across and not just in Athletics. I can not think of one person that could possibly have a bad word to say about him, which just about sums up how he approached everything. He not only gave up his time willingly to his athletes and the North West region, but was always willing to help out anyone who just asked.
Merrik was a great man and both myself and my wife Tina shall personally miss him greatly.
Our thoughts are with Val and the rest of his family at this time.
Graham and Tina Pilkington

Although we only met once at Melbourne Park in April 2006, Merrick came across as a kind, knowledgeable, sporting and gentle coach who inspired many athletes. We can’t imagine the loss the North of England, Liverpool Pembroke & Sefton AC and his throws squad will experience through this sad loss to our sport. Most importantly our thoughts are with his family at this time.
Andy Neal
Coach to Target 69 Throws Squad Horsham, Sussex

I have been fortunate enough to have competed alongside Merrik on many occasions for LPS and learned greatly from him. His contribution to athletics can only be measured by the size of the vacuum his untimely passing has left; that void will be enormous.
Whenever I step into a circle now I’ll hear him telling me to “pull my right leg under” or offering some other, sage advice. This soothes me because it means I’ll think of him every time I throw and he’ll never be forgotten.
Our thoughts now are with Val and his family. As time assuages the pain and shock of what has happened we will all be left with many, happy memories of a man who gave us all so much and was universally acknowledged as the archetypal gentle-giant.
Quite simply, Merrik was as kind a friend as I could ever wish to have and
as fine an athlete as I could ever wish to be.
We’ll miss him terribly.
Dave & Karen Brown

As a team mate and fellow field event athlete I competed with and against Merrik for many seasons. For me he epitomised that special kind of athlete who is not only fiercely competitive but will also in the middle of a competition give advice and encouragement to his closest rival. He personified the true spirit of athletics and his love for the sport was clear for all to see in his selfless dedication to club, team mates and in particular the many athletes he coached. Tuesday and Thursday evenings at Edge Hill will never be the same again. Merrik was a big man with a big smile and huge heart. He had a vast range of technical knowledge and the rare ability to impart it easily to both novices and experienced athletes. I am sure I am a much better athlete for having trained and competed with Merrik, and can only hope to gain half of the levels of affection and respect in which he was held. Good bye Merrik, you will be truly missed.
To Val and other family members, Diane and I extend our deepest sympathy and heart felt condolences.
Mark Line LPS

Merrik’s death came as devastating news to me and was a huge shock. My thoughts immediately went to Val his loving wife and the rest of his family.
Merrik was my coach for around 6 years and throughout this time he showed huge faith in me and all of his other athletes that he took under his wing. Merrik was defiantly the gentle giant of all coaches and will certainly be greatly missed. Merrik helped me to achieve so much throughout my years with him and it is only with his help and guidance that I will be able to go on to achieve many more great things but I will always remember the roots of my success. Because of this I thank you.
I will truly miss you,
Goodnight and God bless
Anne-Marie xx

Merrik wasn’t just a coach to me, he was my friend. Someone i could confide in when I had troubles. He gave up so much of his precious time for me, and all his other athletes, which he didn’t need to do, but he was so dedicated and passionate about the need for his athletes to reach their full potential. He’d be the first person down, and the last to leave at the track. He always went out of his way help others. He was such an intelligent and kind man, with a huge heart. I miss him already, and I’m sure everybody who knew him does too.
You’ll never be forgotten Merrik.
Anna Taylor x

Merrik was an immense character whom I have known in athletics for well over 30 years and especially over the past ten years Merrik has been an integral part of the ACNW set up and when Les Williams stood down Merrik took on the role as treasurer as well as carrying on with his coaching role. We have enjoyed a very good relationship as secretary & treasurer of ACNW, with club allegiances never interfering with our objectives to provide a first class supporting coaching programme for developing North West athletes. Merrik was unselfish with his time and efforts to provide the best possible coaching regime for his many athletes and supported so well by his lovely wife Val, who looked after Merrik’s athletes as if they were her own family. Last year, one of the highlight’s of the Harrier’s Melbourne meeting was the intra LPS Throws match between Merrik’s Ormskirk squad and Dave Brown’s Horsham squad, which produced some superb performances.
Good Bye Merrik, it has been an honour and a privilege to work along side you for these past years and Thanks
Mike Dooling

Whilst attending the NW Council meeting on Friday evening the sad news was given to us by Charles Gains. Merrik was a person who was highly respected by all involved in the sport. It will be very hard to find someone who had his enthusiasm and ability to coach and communicate at all levels. He was a ‘gent’ and will be sadly missed. On behalf of all at Liverpool Harriers I wish to send our condolences to his family.
Arwel Williams (Taff)

Merrik was a great coach and helped me achieve so much with javelin. He was one of the most kind hearted people I have ever met had I shall miss him terribly.
Luke Parker- LPS x

I first came in contact with Merrik in my capacity as a field judge, then later when he agreed to take my grand-daughter Sophie, under his wing. I always found him most approachable and a truly gentle man. I am greatly saddened by his loss.
Alan Tomlinson.

I was really saddened to hear the tragic news. As an active coach at Liverpool Pembroke & Sefton I have attended many coaching sessions as well as track and field meetings and Merrik was usually present. He had expertise, enthusiasm and dedication but above all he had a genuine passion for athletics. He will be sorely missed.
Peter McCormack

Please send our condolences to Merrick’s family from Ronnie & Michael Bomba Harry Oakes and the the throws squad at Liverpool Harriers he will be sadly missed by every one who knew him.
Ronnie Bomba

I wish to send my condolences to Merrick’s family. Even though he was only my coach for a short while he made an impression on me. He will be sadly missed.
From Jess Broady & Family

As a member of LPS and a member of Merrik’s throwing team I am truly saddened to hear of his untimely passing. Although I didn’t  know Merrik for a lengthy time his influence on my javelin throwing was enormous. I will always remember Merrik as a gentle caring man with a passion for athletics and a massive influence on everyone who he coached Merrik truly was a gentle giant and will be sorely missed for a long time to come Please pass my condolences on to his wife Val and family
RIP Merrik we will miss you
Mike Jones

Merrik was a much liked and greatly respected coach and mentor to many athletes on the Isle of Man. He travelled to the island regularly to conduct coaching sessions for the throwers, and was part of the management team for the Isle of Man’s athletics team at the Island Games in Shetland in 2005. He was greatly looking forward to performing the same role at the 2007 Games in Rhodes. I only met Merrik for the first time at the 2005 Games in Shetland, yet whenever I have seen him since he has greeted me like a long-lost friend. What I know about throwing can be written on the proverbial postage stamp, but that didn’t matter to Merrik – I am an athletics enthusiast, and that was good enough for him. He will be greatly missed by all on the Isle of Man who were fortunate enough to have met him. Several tributes to Merrik have already been posted on the forum at
David Griffiths, Manx Harriers

Its a long time since Sefton merged with Pembroke, and a long time since my membership of Sefton Harriers lapsed. But I remember very clearly when Merrik joined Sefton Harriers and threw himself into club life with all the enthusiasm and dedication of a true Sefton Harrier. My condolences to his family, and to the athletes he was coaching.
Mike Travis
Member of Sefton Harriers 1968-95

I was shocked and saddened to learn of Merrik’s sudden death. Athletics on Merseyside has lost a popular stalwart of the sport and a true gentle man.
Leo Carroll
Merseyside County AA Chair and Wirral AC

Merrik was a true friend of Manx Athletics. He got involved trying to help Manx Throwers 3 or 4 years ago. He quickly became an integral part of the Manx Athletics scene. He was on the Island Games management team that travelled with our National squad to compete in the Island Games in Shetland 2005. He was also on the management team for next summer’s Games in Rhodes. Merrik did more than come over to the island 3 or 4 times a year. He really took the athletes under his wing. They would go and stay with him to train and compete and also he took some away warm weather training earlier this year in Portugal. They became part of his group. When over on his flying visits he became a fan of some local rock bands that some of our athletes play in – Twisted Angels and Black Orchid being the main two. In short he really was part of the Manx scene overall and not just athletics. The comments above tell me what I expected to see. Merrik was a man of great integrity who would do anything he could to help an athlete develop, or organise a club event or help our sport to move forward. He had a wealth of knowledge and was happy to share it with others without forcing his ideas upon them. He was a real gentleman. No words can really explain how I feel. In the relatively short time I got to know Merrik he became a good friend. My feelings go out to his family and friends. If I can I will get to his funeral on Friday. He will be sadly missed on the Isle of Man.
Andy Fox Manx AC

On behalf of former South Liverpool Athletic Club members, Merrik was a member of the athletic community we can not afford to lose.
Rob McKenna South Liverpool

We are deeply shocked and saddened to hear of the untimely death of Merrik, Our daughter Emma has been training with him in the javelin for just over a year and he has been a great inspiration and mentor to her. He was a lovely man who will be sadly missed and our thoughts are with his family at this sad time.
Sue, Colin and Emma Carter.

A great foe and a great friend. A giant of a man in every respect. God bless you Mezza and condolences to Val and family
Terry Lalley
Nice Cote d’Azur Athletisme

An outstanding man of immense integrity who was steadfast and effective in all the tasks he undertook, as an athlete, coach and a first rate club administrator.
A towering oak with friendly smile and kind words, patient understanding with his athletes, fortitude in competition and an ability to focus on detail.
Merrik Bousfield was a A Man for all Seasons
Robbie Wood LPS

As a coach Merrik epitomised what coaching is all about. He was a gentleman through and through and could be seen at most meetings being supportive to his athletes and putting his knowledge of the throwing events to good use. I know that he derived great pleasure from watching his athletes put into practise that which he had taught them and as a coach myself I know the time and effort that this took on his behalf. I also share the sense of achievements that he felt knowing that he had instilled into his athletes the confidence and pride which it takes to be able to compete at any level and to be at their best when called upon to do so. I will miss seeing this colleague and his ever smiling face at future meetings where there will now be a vacant space instead of a fellow coach doing what we do best. He will be sadly missed,
God bless.
Brian Parkes
Throws coach South Yorkshire (Rotherham)

When Merrik joined Sefton Harriers in 1986 it was obvious to all that a person of quality and substance had come amongst us. He was a presences right from the start; not in a bossy or overbearing way but one who play his part to the full. His commitment loyalty and integrity served Sefton as an athlete, coach and an Officer right up to the merger with Pembroke  and then carried on seamlessly to do the same with the new Club. Others who are more qualified than myself will no doubt comment on his remarkable services to coaching within the Club and to athletics generally, which was as unstinting and as generous as the man himself, but it’s the man himself that I remember here. Merrik has a great sense of humour and a love of fun. He was convivial company at social gatherings and I recall his provocative teasing of Robbie Wood at quiz nights when they were on opposing teams. His competitive spirit was always there even at fun events. For several years Merrik and Val were our hosts at the Formby Beach Run parties and the Club had happy times at their home. When we look back it’s happy times that are remembered and we shared many of these with Merrik. he was a fine man, a good friend and we will miss him.
Norman Wilson Vice President of LPS and Former Sefton Harrier President

We were very saddened to hear about Merrik yesterday, he was a lovely man who always had time to speak to people and share his valuable knowledge of athletics
He coached our son for two years, we considered him a friend as well as a coach and he will be sadly missed.
Sincere condolences go to his family.
Ian & Sharron Fisher

Merrik was one of those ever-present, always-been-around sort of guys that make up our great sport. There had always been a great rapport between the Sefton and Pembroke clubs that had lasted over a century. When the two merged in 1995 Merrik was one of the principal instigators and foundation stones of the new LPS. He immediately took a key office role but simultaneously threw himself wholeheartedly into representing the club as a thrower. He was galvanised by the experience, achieved personal bests and started collecting veteran titles as well. As he took up a coaching role the enthusiasm spread to a new generation of athletes and the club became recognised as a centre of excellence. He was in demand at coaching conferences and performance squads in the North West and colleagues in the Isle of Man will fondly remember his frequent coaching visits.

It is hard, very hard to accept his death. He was still evolving, growing into a major influence in the sport. These tributes say it all. There are few individuals that can match the respect he engendered, the significant influence he had on all who worked and collaborated with him. A hugely sad occasion but one tempered by the fact that he had touched and influenced so many people.
Our thoughts go to his wife, Val, and family.
Charles Gains, LPS and Chair England Athletics: North West

So sorry to hear of this totally unexpected and tragic news. Merrik was a great guy and he was always willing to chat and discuss issues around the sport in an intelligent and friendly manner. A great loss to grass roots of the sport.
Chris Betts Gateshead AC

My lasting memories will be of Merrik waiting at the finish line for the Sefton Harriers Winter handicaps at Croxteth Park in some of the foulest of weather. Even then his toughness and his good humour shone through. He was a track and field man – but here he was assisting the runners, working out handicaps and generally dispensing wisdom and encouragement. Usually accompanied by Val, they made a lovely couple and when they took over the Beach race from Darrell Gardiner and opened up their house for the after race imbibing, there was a great atmosphere. Merrik was a gentleman and I’m proud to say I knew him.
I’ll miss you Merrik.
Alan Cooper West Cheshire

ACWe can’t express the sadness we feel to hear of Merrik’s untimely death. He coached our son, Luke Parker to a great level in javelin and was so supportive and encouraged him to meet his ability, ambition and beyond. He wasn’t just a coach, he was a friend to his protégés and he made them believe in there goal. He told Luke he could achieve…and he did. Thank you Merrik….Tim and Lynne Parker….with sincere condolences to Merrik’s family

So sad to hear about Merrik Please pass on my condolences to his family and friends and the athletes he coached who I know held him in high regard. Since I took on the job of club treasurer Merrik has been a great help to me in preparing the club accounts for annual audit. We all knew him as a great coach, but for all the other work he did for our club in the background, he will be sorely missed.
George Leicester LPS.

I’m very saddened to hear of the untimely death of Merrik. He was a gentle giant of a man who was always willing to pass on words of advice and encouragement to anyone. I remember many Northern League encounters where we were rivals in several of the throws events, me trying to pick up the odd point for Wallasey and Merrik looking to win the competition, he often tried to tell me what I was doing wrong & suggest ways of extracting that extra metre – mostly to no avail though. The athletics world and particularly yourself and LPS have lost a real friend and ambassador for the sport.
My thoughts and those of Wallasey are with his family and friends at this sad time. Please pass on our condolences.
Bob Brimage

It is with great sadness that we read of Merrik’s death. Merrik came to Portugal with us this year, warm weather training with a group of his ‘girls’. It was a great trip made all the more enjoyable by the great sense of humour and dedication of this great man. Athletics and many athletes are now going to miss the presence and unfailing dedication of a such a fabulous contributor Our sympathies are with his family, his athletes and his club.

Ros. Paul, Hannah, Stacey and Karl Evenden, and the Leeds City Portugal 2006 group

So sad to hear about Merrik.  He was one of the nicest guys I’ve met in athletics.

Ron Scott SWAC

I am very sorry to hear about Merrik. He was such a lovely man, lovely smiles and loads of help to throwers all over the country. He will be sadly missed, by everyone who knew him.
Margaret Crompton . Blackpool Wyre and Fylde A C

I did not know Merrik personally but from what  I know he will be sadly missed
My Condolences to his family and close ones.
John McCarten LPS

Although we have only known Merrik for a few short months he has given inspiration, confidence and passed on his exceptional knowledge in hammer throwing without question. He will be truly missed, we are all deeply saddened at his untimely death.
He surely was the No. 1 coach!!
Michael, Wendy & Sophie Hitchon

I am sorry to hear that Merrik has passed away.
Like everyone else I found him to be a most friendly, helpful and reliable colleague. His loss to your club, and most of all his Family will be felt for some time.
Stan Taylor, Blackpool, Wyre and Fylde A C


A selection of Photos


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