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Obituary – Liz Johns (nee Parsons)

20/07/2020 00:00, In Blog /

Liz Johns (nee Parsons) whose death has just been announced at the age of 76 was the first Welsh female sprinter to show promise at UK level. As a teenager, she was one of the best in Britain when she took the Welsh senior 100 yards title at the tender age of 15 in 1960 whilst still at school.

Remarkably she also won the Welsh junior title at 100 yards in the preceding two years. Along with Barry’s Liz Lewis (nee Gill) they formed a powerful Welsh sprint duo and both were part of the Welsh team at the 1966 Jamaica Commonwealth Games.

She went on to win 13 Welsh senior sprint titles - more than any other Welsh female sprinter and competed for Great Britain at international level, including the 1971 Helsinki European Championships where she finished 6th as part of the British sprint relay squad.

Whilst originally a member of Cardiff’s Roath Harriers, she became the first ladies captain of Cardiff AAC in November 1968 when Roath merged with the other Cardiff club, Birchgrove Harriers to form the club that would become Britain’s champion club for three successive years between 1972 and 1974.

After her retirement, she remained in the sport as a coach and as a Cardiff club official.

She was married to the 1960 Welsh junior 880 yards champion Maurice Johns who pre-deceased her.

All in Welsh athletics send their condolences to her family.

The funeral takes place on July 22nd.

Clive Williams

Pic caption: Liz winning the 1971 Welsh 100m title, 11 years after her first win