Les Collett passed away peacefully aged 77 after a long illness on Thursday 10 May, ironically the date of the 5K Training Race at which he used to help at the finish.
Les joined the club in 1976 after his children, Sharon and Gavin, became members. Before long he became the women’s track & field team manager achieving great success in returning the Southern League team to Division One. He also led the senior team to several semi-final appearances in the old GRE Cup and achieved qualification for the prestigious Plate Final. He retired from the role after the merger with Uxbridge Ladies, though chaired the Women’s Sub Committee for several years.
Adopting the “if you can’t beat them, join them attitude” in the 1980’s, he began joining Sharon and Gavin on runs round the block and before long was “just tagging on a couple more miles”. He was soon running both the Harrow and London Marathons and took great enjoyment from reinventing a sporting career for himself.
An illness in his early sixties brought a premature retirement from running, but he continued to help and support Sharon and Gavin in their club duties for as long as he was able.
He always took great enjoyment from Hillingdon Athletic Club and the friends he made there.
His funeral will take place on Tuesday 22nd May in the West Chapel at Breakspear Crematorium at 12.45pm. The hearse will be stopping outside the clubhouse at 12.20pm and members are invited to join Sharon and Gavin on the traditional walk to the crematorium from the clubhouse. There will be refreshments and a buffet at the clubhouse after the service.
Family flowers only please, but donations are invited specifically for the development of young athletes at Hillingdon AC. Cheques should be made payable to “Hillingdon AC” and sent to Hearnden-Smith & Daughters Funeral Directors, 3 School Parade, 30 High Street, Harefield, Middlesex, UB9 6BT.