Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 11°C

min temp: 3°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Felixstowe: Tributes paid to former Olympian Stan Cox

06:00 28 June 2012

Former Olympic marathon runner Stan Cox stands by his display of medals and trophies in his Felixstowe home.

Former Olympic marathon runner Stan Cox stands by his display of medals and trophies in his Felixstowe home.

Archant

PROUD family and friends today spoke of the amazing achievements of a former Olympian who devoted his life to athletics.

shares

Stan Cox

Stan took part in the famous England v Germany match at Cologne in 1939 and won a bronze medal showing the Union flag and Nazi swastika.

War interrupted his career with postings to Iraq, Iran and Palestine. He trained by running laps round a tennis court.

In 1948 Stan was the British six-mile (10,000 metres) champion, clocking up a time of around 29 minutes.

At the London Olympics in 1948 he finished seventh in the 10,000 metres – though commentators still believe he actually ran an extra lap by mistake after missing the bell.

He was unable to take part in the 1950 Commonwealth Games in New Zealand after his employers made it clear he would lose his job if he went.

Stan Cox, of Dellwood Avenue, Felixstowe, was one of the last survivors of Britain’s team from the 1948 London games and had been invited to attend this summer’s big event, and given tickets to the Olympic Stadium to see some of the athletics.

Friends had been arranging a front row seat for the 93-year-old former marathon man to see the Olympic torch when it is paraded through Felixstowe next Thursday, and it had been hoped Stan would be able to hold one of the torches at a Town Hall reception for torchbearers.

But failing health had dogged the retired long distance runner for the past year, and he died in Felixstowe Community Hospital in the early hours of yesterday morning – exactly a month before the official opening ceremony of the Games.

His grandson Matt Broekstra said: “He had a wonderful life and will missed by us all. It was such a shame he couldn’t hang on to see the Olympics.”

Friends and family said today he had a zest for life, and even into his 90s still led health walks in Felixstowe, his home for the past 33 years, and could be seen daily out walking around the resort.

His daughter Delphine Broekstra said: “Athletics was his life. He so much wanted to see the Olympic torch and had really been looking forward to it coming to Felixstowe. He almost made it but not quite.

“We are all really proud of what he achieved and he ran at a time when I always think people did it for their country, a time before money was involved.”

Stan competed in the 10,000m in 1948, when he was the British six-mile champion.

In an interview last year he said he could still clearly remember the event and the amazing atmosphere and was eager to see what the modern games would be like.

“I had to take a day off work, unpaid, or a day’s holiday, to take part in my race – and then it was back to work the next day!” he said.

Mr Cox also took part in the 1952 Helsinki Games, running in the marathon.

At that time he was one of the top two marathon runners in the world but collapsed with a health problem after 22 miles of the 26-mile race.

shares

0 comments

Aerial shot of Ixworth.

Four vehicles collided at a roundabout on the A1088 in Ixworth.

Have you seen any of the livev TV debates ahead of the General Election?

It’s nearly time to cast your vote and with just a week to go before the country goes to the polls, we want to know your current views on several key issues.

Concern over decrease in police officers

Fears for the future of Suffolk policing and officer welfare have been raised again after it emerged the county lost nearly 7% of its officers last year.

Aerial shot of Felixstowe.

A safe containing cash and jewellery was stolen from a caravan in Felixstowe.

Rosehill Library, which is now 110 years old.

Ipswich was one of the first towns in the country to open a public library, following the 1850 Public Libraries Ac, writes John Norman, of the Ipswich Society.

The thatched house in Langham which was badly damaged by a fire.

A devastated family on the Suffolk/Essex border believe they will not be able to return home for a year after a fire ripped through their thatched cottage on Friday night.

Suffolk police release Efit of a man wanted in connection with a stalking

Police have released an Efit image of a man connected with the stalking of a teenage girl in Ipswich.

Polling stations in Essex opened on Thursday, 9 October for the Clacton by-election.

Headteachers at north Essex schools forced to close on polling day have raised concerns over the impact on children’s education.

Stock image of the A14.

A man has been arrested on suspicion of assault after an incident of road rage in Ipswich.

From The Archives East

Brandeston School pupils with parcels for Romania March 1998

More events featured in photographs have been remembered by our readers

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages