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Obituary: Steve Blakemore

03/06/2020 00:00, I Mewn Blog /

From Clive Williams:

The Welsh athletics community will be sad to learn of the death of former Welsh under 17 and under 20 cross-country champion Steve Blakemore in the USA last week. He was just 58.

Steve went to the USA on an athletics scholarship in 1981 and after college made the USA his home and became a successful businessman. He did return to Wales on visits and was present at the 50th anniversary celebration of the formation of Cardiff AAC two years ago.

His best run was probably in the English national junior (under 20) cross country championships in 1980 where as a first year junior he finished 6th and followed this up with 14th the following year.

He ran for Wales in the world cross-country championships in 1980 and 1981 when the home nations were represented unlike nowadays when it’s a British team, leading the Welsh team home on both occasions finishing in 19th and 15th places respectively.

Steve changed colleges several times in the States, but never replicated his UK form. He became a keen road cyclist with Turlock Cycling Club in California and was on a cycle ride in the Turlock Mountains when he became seriously ill. He was taken to hospital in San Francisco where he died. When home in Cardiff to see family, he went out cycling with his Cardiff AAC friends.

Paul Darney, one of Britain’s leading middle distance coaches said: “This has come as a terrible shock. Steve was the first class athletes I coached. He joined my group at 15 and I could see immediately that he had great potential.” Darney, a 5 times winner of Welsh titles, and coach to Andres Jones and Christian Stephenson at the 2000 Sydney Olympics continued: “Steve had a great personality and made many friends in the States – we never lost touch and he didn’t forget his Cardiff roots.”