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Welsh international race walker Bill Wright has died

04/04/2022 00:00, In History /

The sport in Wales is very sad to learn of the death of Welsh international race walker Bill Wright who has died at the age of 81.

Here is a tribute from fellow Welsh international Dave Ainsworth:

Bill achieved Welsh International status and regularly supported the Principality's Championships. In 1976 at Cwmbran he took the 10,000 Metres Senior title in 51 mins 29 secs ahead of John Eddershaw.  A year later he was  silver medallist at the same distance behind John.

Earlier in 1969, Bill was a bronze medallist at 3,000 metres as 1st & 2nd places went to Roy Hart & Dave Rosser respectively (both Commonwealth Games representatives in their time). 

His Welsh senior appearance came in the Home Countries International over 10,000 metres at a rainy Aldersley Track (Wolverhampton) in 1976 when he clocked a respectable 51:41.2.  It was 2-a-side and involving Ken Carter & Dennis Holly (England), Alan Buchanan & Graham Scott (Scotland) and John Eddershaw & Bill Wright (Wales).

He was prominent in the administration of our athletics discipline when serving 29 years as the Race Walking Association's Honorary Treasurer. In the RWA centenary publication "A Hundred Years Afoot" it's written that Bill's is the only Association office holder to fill the same position continuously for over a quarter of a century.  He was elected an esteemed RWA Life Member and served an active 1995/96 term as President of the UK governing body of race walking.

Bill’s main club was Southend-on-Sea AC who had several "big name" race walkers and he had to work hard to even make a scoring 4 (all races needed 4 scorers in such times) - but he did, even in National Championships, as his impressive collection of medals/plaques/certificates/prizes proves.

As an experienced judge he officiated at international level having been put forward by Welsh Athletics.

Our thoughts and sympathy go to his wife Janice and the family.