John Bradshaw: A tribute

John Bradshaw is to retire. His last track session will be on the 26th March and his team managing role will conclude the following Saturday at the Northern 12 Stage at Sefton Park.
JB has spent nearly 60 years in the club starting out as a successful distance runner and steeplechaser in the 50s. When the Pembroke club got into difficulties a decade later he stepped up to the Secretary`s position and the remaining minutes, written out meticulously on old foolscap paper, already heralded a person who would make their mark on the sport. By the 70s he was a coach, starting out on a four decade journey that would lead to a string of high profile success stories both individual and team. Arguably his greatest achievement was the crucial input he made to the early success of Michael Rimmer, multiple national 800m champion, but I suspect he would argue there were equally great success stories in terms of individual improvement and development among his numerous charges.
John`s career also took off as a track judge, culminating in him refereeing at high profile meetings including the AAA Championships. He had similar paths in schools athletics and his work in cross country saw him elected President of the England Cross Country Association. During that time he presented medals at the National Championships and it must have been a source of joy to him when the LPS Under 13 Girls took both the individual and team titles at Leeds in 1998.
John`s uncompromising style stamped itself forcefully and effectively on Pembroke and later the emerging Liverpool Pembroke Sefton.  He doesn’t suffer fools gladly but neither does he harbour grudges always putting club interests first. A professional to his finger-tips.
As the historian of the Pembroke side of the modern club I am acutely aware of our predecessors of yesteryear. It is a formidable list stretching back to the founder, Charlie Pugh, in 1890 and thereafter outstanding administrators such as Harry Kelly, Bob Roberts and Eddie McCartney who kept the club afloat during difficult times, including two World Wars. Thirty plus years of dedicated service was nothing to these extraordinary characters. But John Bradshaw has eclipsed them all not only in terms of longevity but also in the vast array of tasks, notably coaching, he has, willingly, undertaken for the club. It is not a cliché to say he is a `legend’ and his like will never be seen again.
Charles Gains
March 2015

Comments are closed.