It’s with great sadness that we announce the sudden passing of our wonderful Dad Andrew Green. He died peacefully at home
having suffered a heart attack on Saturday 18th April 2020. He was 77 years old. He leaves behind his beloved wife Mary, 2 sons David and Michael along with 5 grandchildren
He loved athletics throughout his life. It proved to be a big part of it in many ways. He met Mary at the English schools championship and again at the National training camp at Lilleshall. Over the years romance blossomed despite them living miles apart, Andy in Manchester and Mary in Norfolk. They were married in August 1965 living all of their married life in Southend.
Dad’s early athletics outings took place in Manchester. He ran for his local club Salford Harriers. His Dad coached him and he competed with varying degrees of success as he went through the ranks.
During the winter Andy and his Dad would often use their Lambretta headlights as floodlights at the D shaped track at Boggart Hole Clough.
In 1961 he came 2nd in the National Junior 880 yards at Enfield. A feat even more remarkable given Andy and his father road their 125cc motorbikes on the day of the race from Manchester, competed and road home. Talk about tough of the track.
Andy ran his 1st sub 4 minute mile on the 25th August 1964 in Blackburn. This was the 1st sub 4 minute mile in the North of England. He won in 3:59.2 beating the 1957 mile world record holder Derek Ibbotson.
He ran his fastest mile on July 5th 1965 at the famous White City. In front of a packed stadium he finished 4th in 3:57.70 only 1 second behind the winner and beating the double Olympic champion Peter Snell. All 8 runners in this race went below the magic 4 minute mark.
In 1967 at the age of 25 he won the AAA mile champs in a championship record time of 4:00.6. With 300m to go Andy was in last place. He hit the front with yards to go having run a 56 second last lap. This record still stands despite a centenary mile being held in 1980 with Steve Ovett and John Walker in the field.
In 1970 running took a back seat. He focused on raising his family, his teaching career and playing the guitar in many semi
During this break Andy and Mary found time to become founding members of Castle Point Joggers. They would take the group through a warm up routine, a short run and a longer run for the more capable. One needs to remember that in those days running was nowhere near the mass participation sport it is now. Drivers of cars would regularly wind their windows down and shout “get your knee’s up”.
Both Andy and Mary both ran in the Sunday Times Fun Run several times. This was a huge event for jogging clubs attracting several thousand runners split into age groups. It goes without saying that they both finished at the sharp end of their races.
Andy donned his spikes again when he returned to compete as a veteran. Running in several track and cross country races as well the vibrant road relay circuit. In 1983 he finished 2nd in the 800m & 1500m National Championships running 1:58.3 & 4:12.8 respectively. He also won the Essex vets 1500m Champs 3 years in a row returning again after a break from competing to win the over 50’s 1500m title.
Andy and Mary took over the running of the Southend 5 mile race which became the extremely successful 10k event. This involved a tremendous amount of work from a collective of club stalwarts. My brother and I spent many hours stuffing envelops with race numbers.
Andy and Mary supported both my brother and I in our modest sporting endeavours like we were champions. If they could be there they would be in full voice shouting encouraging words from the sidelines.
Andy’s love for running and support for Southend AC continued right up until the end of his life. We saw Adam Hickey win the 2020 Essex Champs. We also watched in wonder his amazing shoeless run in the National XC on YouTube. It was one of the bravest runs my Dad said he had ever seen.
Just 2 weeks ago Andy took himself off to the local field and did a Fartlek. Maybe he was planning an over 80’s comeback…..
This a part of a report from the Athletics Weekly on Dad’s great AAA mile win at the White City in 1967. Its written by Mel Watman
“I had to go one better than my wife – I couldn’t have her crowing over me!” The speaker was Andy Green, whose wife Mary had run Lillian Board to inches in the WAAA 440, and he was understandably elated after his surprise win. He admitted he was “a bit worried” after allowing Witold Baran, John Whetton and Walter Wilkinson to open up a three yard lead over him before the bell (reached by the Pole in 3:03.8) but a 55.6 last lap carried him past everyone for victory in 4:00.6. Time for his final half … inside 1:56
. Result: 1, Green 4:00.6 (championship record); 2, Whetton 4:00.8; 3, Alan Simpson 4:01.0; 4, Wilkinson 4:01.6.
Andy had seven GB internationals 1963-7. He finished 2nd in the 1965 World University Games 1500m
AAA 1 mile Champs 2nd in 1965 , 1st 1967
AAA indoor Champs 1000 yards 2nd 1963, 1 mille 3rd in 1965
Southern 880y 1st in 1965 and 1967.
He set a UK indoor 800m record with 1:52.6 in 1963 and had pbs: 880y 1:49.5 (1964), 1000y 2:08.7 (1969), 1000m 2:21.6 (1968), 1500m 3:42.2 (1965), 1M 3:57.74 (1965), 2000m 5:19.0 (1968), 3000m 8:06.2 (1969), 2M 8:47.0 (1965), 3M 13:48.6 (1968), 5000m 14:19.6 ’69.