Obituary Phil Bamsey, Neath Harriers,

20/04/2020 00:00, In Club Notice Board /

Neath Harriers are saddened to announce the passing of Phil Bamsey, this was as the result of a road traffic accident whilst cycling in Port Talbot last Wednesday. The thoughts of all at the club are with Phil’s wife Jan and son Chris as well as his younger brother Bob and the extended family.

Both Bob and Phil were products of the running boom in the 1980s and had joined the club midway through that decade quickly becoming well established in the famous black vest of Neath. Phil’s great love was marathon running and he competed over the distance a staggering 49 times with a personal best of 2:47.59. His ambition was always to get to the magical 50, but 49 still represents a remarkable achievement. Even more remarkable was that 8 of these performances were under the magical 3 hour benchmark. However, his best performance was widely recognised as being in Chicago, we are grateful to Club Statistician Brian Blandford for his account below:

“Further to Phil’s marathon record I will draw your attention to his V40 pb, this was one of the epic runs in the history of the club.

This took place in Chicago with a bitterly cold wind coming off the great lakes and with snow, sleet and rain throughout, Phil, in the company of Dave Oak, set out on their dismal journey not expecting to get very far. However, with courage over and above the call of duty they both finished the task with Dave some way behind. Phil's time of 2/49/38 would be the envy of most club runners in perfect conditions but this was something else, a time much superior to his pb even though he was older. An epic run indeed.”

Phil Bamsey also redefined the term clubman, an ever-present in team competition throughout a 20 plus year career. This was punctuated by twelve Welsh Championship medals across the age groupings and numerous appearances in events across Wales and beyond, including team and relay events as well as being an automatic choice for the Castles Relays and others.

He made a total of 73 Gwent League appearances which included 25 consecutive and 7 ever-present seasons. In the West Glamorgan League he competed 49 times including 16 consecutively and was part of winning teams across the Divisions on 3 separate occasions whilst competing for British Steel. He achieved lifetime personal bests of 35:22 (10k), 57:58 (10 mile) and 1:17.11 (Half Marathon). Sadly, his running career was cut short by injury but he continued his strong association with Neath and remained a regular attendee at social events.

Phil was a great competitor with the heart of a lion. However, athletics achievements aside, he was a thoroughly outstanding guy and someone that all at Neath were proud to have as a friend. Phil has been taken too soon, all at the club will feel his loss.

Steve Jones

Former Club Chairman – Neath Harriers AC