Obituary: Kenneth Ross (Deeside stalwart and coach)
Ken was a much loved coach at Deeside and across North Wales. He has most certainly contributed hugely to the endurance programme in the North.
Ken Ross was born in Birkenhead on the 24th of February 1937. He was the eldest of 2, his younger brother being Norman. Ken went to Hamilton Boys School in Birkenhead where he was a Head Boy and then joined the army and trained in Catterick before being medically discharged as he didn’t have a sense of smell! Ken became a painter and decorator and was a very keen road cyclist, riding all around UK and Europe - also followed the Tour de France on his bike. He met his wife Betty and they were married 61 years, had three daughters moved to Connahs Quay, and then had a son.
Ken went on to set up his own Decorating Business, played badminton and helped out at the local Swimming Club, and then joined Deeside Athletic Club in 1980 helping coach U10’s.
Ken then retired from work (around 1998) and started playing Golf and ran an exercise class at Old Padeswood for the ladies section. He enjoyed taking holidays to Florida in our winter months to play golf. He also had recognitions for Athletics Coaching received from CQ Council, Flintshire Council, and Welsh AAA.
Joined Deeside AAC when he took his son to the club in the summer of 1980, was soon roped in to help coach the U10’s. Ken became junior middle distance coach in 1983. Ken then gained his Field officiating badges, eventually becoming the senior official at events for all Field Events.
In 1986 he became junior/senior men, middle distance coach.
Deeside went on to achieve numerous successes, including Welsh League, Pilkington Cup, Welsh Road Relay Champs (Girls)
Coached an abundance of athletes who have gone on to represent both Wales and GB (including current GB international Charlie Hulson) and almost all of the current Senior Group of athletes at Deeside have stepped up after receiving guidance from Ken over the years
Most weekends throughout his 41 years with the Club were taken up by athletics, track, and field in the summer, cross country in the winter, he truly loved watching the athletes he coached achieve PB’s but most of all he just wanted to see an improvement in them.
During these 41 years, whatever the weather, Ken would be coaching at the track or local areas such as Wepre Park, Moel Famau, Talacre Beach, etc
In the 80’s, he even took a small group of athletes to Tenerife for a warm-weather training trip, where he met the Tully sisters and Kirsty Wade (1 session Ken often did subsequently, he referred to as Kirsty 150’s which was the session she was doing when they met).
In recent years, Ken dropped back to coaching juniors as age started catching up with him and in Feb 2021 left the club due to ill health
The respect for and high regard in which he was held has been well and truly confirmed during his illness with visits from athletes past and present, including some he’s not seen in years.
He also received a card from the current athletes with pictures and messages which he cherished and looked at fondly, every day.
Whilst extremely sad to lose one of our stalwarts, Ken’s legacy is that he leaves the club in a strong position, with the Middle Distance section underpinned by his years of service and the guidance and tutelage handed down to the current coaching staff. RIP Ken.