January 16, 2017
Our honorary member, Jimmy Richardson, unfortunately passed away in the QE hospital in the early hours of Friday 13th January. He was 65 and had been in hospital for only a few days. I am sure our longstanding members will all remember Jimmy and his remarkable achievements. For our newer members I will recap below.
Jimmy was a talented international Paralympic athlete held in high esteem. He lived in Birtley and represented GB to 4 Paralympics from Seoul in 1988 consecutively through to Sydney in 2000, winning multiple Gold and Silver medals in addition to world records for the Club event. He became involved with Birtley Athletics Club in 1995 as an honorary member where I coached him for the final 6 years of his career. He improved during his twilight years, to increase his world record and also achieve further Olympic and World championship medals.
I was also reminded tonight by Dot of his BBC Sports Personality of the Year award which he won in 2000 and we both had a chuckle about his reluctance to pay the £75 it cost for the trophy!! During this time he was a very proud ambassador for Birtley AC and ensured the club name was displayed at many international events.
I am personally saddened and extremely shocked by this; as recently as 3 weeks ago, I spent some time with Jimmy and Dot as I regularly do and he was fit and well. I remember discussing with him the high profile nature of the Paralympics now and the fact that his achievements would have made him a national household name in current times.
I have send condolences on behalf of Birtley Athletics Club but if anyone has any messages or words and posts them below I will ensure that Dot receives them.
Jimmy’s funeral is provisionally arranged for 1.45 next Monday (23rd Jan) at Saltwell Crematorium in Gateshead, subject to Funeral Directors confirmation.
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