Multi-talented and much respected Sussex sportsman dies aged 93

Multi-talented sportsman John Hay
Multi-talented sportsman John Hay

Southwick lost its oldest athlete when John Hay, aged 93, died in Worthing Hospital on June 7

His competitive running career started in 1946 on completion of his apprenticeship at Brighton Railway Works at the age of 20, impressively continuing until his last event 66 years later at the age of 86.

Although not competing, he continued to run until his 90th birthday.

John lived the greater part of his life in Overhill, Southwick.

Initially a member of Brighton and County Harriers, which later became Brighton and Hove Athletics Club after two amalgamations, he gained early honours by being selected for the

Sussex team to compete in an inter-counties cross country championship in 1947 and again in 1951.

In the 1970s, John was the Sussex over-50 cross country champion. He was also the Brighton and Hove Club president for two years from 1994.

In the latter part of his career he ran regularly for Portslade Hedgehoppers in the West Sussex Fun Run League.

Yet running was not his only sport John excelled at. In the days of the Brighton ice rink he was an accomplished ice skater, travelling to Guildford to skate after the rink closed.

He was skiing in his early 80s and was a frequent winner of age group competitions at Coral’s Gymnasium at the Greyhound Stadium.

In his later years he cycled frequently and swam, not only in the sea, but in the River Adur.

He will be remembered with much respect by many.

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