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Bob Philpott

Bob Philpott passed away just before Christmas and his funeral was held recently at Breakspear Crematorium reports Kevin MCDonald. Bob was a large influence on both me and Tracey during our running careers with Hillingdon AC.
I first met Bob around 1983 when I had just joined Hillingdon AC from Watford Harriers, I had thought about just joining ‘second claim’ but Bob persuaded me that if I was going to join there was no point unless I was able to fully compete for Hillingdon AC, of course he was right. This was typical of Bob, who didn’t beat about the bush. At that stage Bob was managing the Mens Athletics team which had already enjoyed GRE cup success and was now starting to head up the GRE league. Bob’s commitment to the team was total, at this time he had retired as a Fireman and was working in Harrow in the DSS Office.
The mens team around that time included some first class athletes such as John Hillier, Mig La-Rose and Bobs son Martin.
My first HAC race was a Met league at Ruislip, which I ran in a vest borrowed from John Sherrifs son – who had just finished the Junior race! I ran for Bobs team on many occasions over the years and travelled all over the place, from West London to Gateshead. The Gateshead meeting was a GRE cup event and I well remember doing the 10,000m which was hard enough, then Bob got me to do the chase as well!
The thing that sticks in my head is that wherever we went, whether it was a road race, cross country or track, Bob would be there watching. Bob assisted with the management of many of the 12 and 6 stage teams that we ran in. These were always ‘3 Line Whip’ races as far as Bob was concerned. Bob was part of that group of Guys that, for me anyway, included Ted Whitehead, Ted Bamford, Roger Cressy, Dave Holman, who all loved and understood the sport and were HAC during the 80’s.
When I first joined the club, I joined a group coached by Jim Andrews. The group included Martin, Malcolm and Kennedy Robinson, Gary Lavers, Kevin Falvey, Chris Wood and Tracey Glynn (as she was at the time) this group trained at Kings College, and West London on a Sunday. When Jim died Bob decided to take this group on, and we continued to train at West London and Bob was always there whatever the weather.
For both myself and Tracey Bob was the archetypal ‘Club Man’ the sort of person that clubs need to survive and run. Bob was uncompromising and took the HAC Athletic team to Division 2 of the BAL – we may one day get back to that, but this will take another Bob. He will be missed.