Joe McAloon

Joe (50) at the end of the Croxteth Park 10k 2003

Joe (50) at the end of the Croxteth Park 10k 2003

Joe McAloon former postman, popular figure in local road running circles and ardent Pembrokian has died aged 83.

I should be getting used to all this but it still comes as a shock to hear about the death of a contemporary, particularly a character like Joe McAloon. It felt like Joe had been around forever and would continue so. He was particularly active as a Vet in the 1970`s and onwards along with a string of eccentric Pembrokians, Sammy McIvor, Gerry Brady, Sid Black, Sid Smith, Billy Fuery, Brian Hughes and a host of others, all of whom could have come straight out of the pages of a Damon Runyon novel. A slight figure he appeared to be running slowly but this was deceptive, he was actually quite a useful runner. I recall the numerous times I got on his shoulder only to see him pull effortlessly away to the finish. I found this a bit frustrating, for all the camaraderie the knives were out when racing. So I wrote an article that was published in a Vets magazine entitled `Some day I am going to beat Joe McAloon`. He found this hugely amusing and continued to put the boot in. It goes without saying that I never did beat Joe McAloon.

Meticulous about paying his subscription to LPS he would ring once a year to enquire how much it was. I always replied, `Which of the horses came in?’ It was a standard joke between us. Each week he would go for a `rub down’ to his physiotherapist who nick-named him `Ten Mile a Day Joe’ for his continual lapping of the grounds of Fazakerley Hospital.
I am a lover of gentle eccentrics such as Joe and it has been a great joy in my life to have known so many. He is in there with there with other great `unforgetables’.
I suspect he has already started lapping some celestial park where I am surely going to find him at some future date. We have a score to settle.
Au revoir, Joe.

Funeral will be at Holy Name Fazakerley 10am 19th May 

Charles Gains

7 Responses to Joe McAloon

  1. Robbie Wood May 9, 2016 at 8:09 pm #

    A lovely man who I first met in the late 1960s. Joe was always moaning about his injuries from the 1950s onwards I am told but he was still competing well into his 70s when so many of his contemporaries had either long packed up or had passed on. As Charlie said in his obituary “It felt like Joe had been around forever and would continue so” well he gone and the club is poorer for that.
    Nice knowing you Joe.

  2. Lynn Vickers May 10, 2016 at 1:48 pm #

    God bless you Joe. You will be missed forever as a runner and a friend. A true gentleman in every sense of the word.

  3. Brian Renshall May 11, 2016 at 6:45 pm #

    A lovely obituary Charles,I didn’t know Joe too well but on the occasions I met him I always found him to be very personable,unasuming guy who loved to talk athletics,I know he was extremely well thought of by all at Liverpool Pembroke AC

  4. Michael McAloon May 13, 2016 at 8:37 am #

    To all you guys at Pembroke, I am deeply touched in reading this and remembering my dads running buddies. I recognize everyone of the names from the era mentioned and it is testimony of the quality of life all of you afforded my dad. From his loving son Mike and on behalf of his loving daughter Pam, thanks to you all.

  5. Michael McAloon May 13, 2016 at 8:39 am #

    Funeral @ Holy Name Fazakerley 10am 19/05/16

  6. Pamela Clarkson May 13, 2016 at 9:49 am #

    Dear Charles, the wonderful words and sentiment in your obituary for my Dad has moved me and my family beyond words. Dad was a Pembrokian to the core and I recall his pride at wearing his red and white striped vest which displayed the liver bird! He adored his running pals and lived for running. His loss cannot be put into words – he was a very kind, loving father and grandfather who will be so terribly missed. I would like to thank the running club team members for giving him the happiest times of his life.
    Pam Clarkson (daughter)

  7. Mark Bleasdale May 14, 2016 at 8:53 am #

    Gentleman Joe, I met Joe on the track in the late 70’s, he’d just done a 10 miler and he was now doin 200 metre sprints to finish off!. A week later I was driving back from a late night function and spotted Joe running in the pitch black through Ince Blundell at 2.00am!, he told me a week later he had finished a late shift then gone for a 20 miler!!.
    A dyed in the wool club man, he knew how to get himself fit, a canny trainer and someone who always had a genuine interest in others. An absolute gent, they don’t make em like Joe anymore! RIP.