Brendan Deary Died 1st May 2007
Brendan Deary was one of my earliest friends in Sefton Harriers. We both joined the club about the same time. Brendan had moved from Waterloo Harriers he was still a junior and was a member of the Sefton team that won the Northern Cross Country team title in 1956/57 season and then placed 3rd in the National in the same season. Right from the start his spirited and highly competitive nature made its presence felt as he encouraged and at times goaded others into training harder. During his National Service his meeting with Gordon Pirie had influenced him in this direction and that attitude stayed with him all his days.
I remember well my first competitive cross country race for the club. It was a Liverpool & District (L&D) league match between Pembroke , Preston Harriers and ourselves. Our leading runner at the time was Steve Rogers and Brendan really wanted to beat him that day. At the period there was a Corinthian type of convention that if two members of the same club were in a dead-heat finish, they would truce between them and they would cross the finishing line hand in hand. Brendan would have none of this Varsity nonsense but when he and Steve were neck and neck with 100yards to go, Brendan slipped and fell and much to his surprise Steve stopped , helped him to his feet and insisted on finishing hand in hand. You could not have made it up!
In the 1960s Brendan was the West Lancs Cross Country Champion for two years and was a member of the all conquering Lancashire County team. He was a Probation Officer by profession and around this time his work took him to live in Northern Ireland, where he wasted no time in becoming part of the running scene there. In keeping with his fearless and controversial nature, he became a member of the Ninth Old Boys. The controversial bit is that he was the first Catholic to be admitted to a hitherto exclusively Protestant club! However the prejudice levels went down and the acceptance levels went up when it became apparent what a good man and fine runner he was.
In more recent years he has lived in Leicester area, and although I have not been in close contact, I understand that he has been in indifferent health in the last few years.
When I learned of his death the sadness I felt was mixed with happy memories and affection for a remarkable man who I am proud to have called a friend
Norman Wilson 27 June 2007