Obituary – Andy Green

It’s with great sadness that we announce the sudden passing of our wonderful Dad Andrew Green. He died peacefully at home
IMG_6708having 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.
IMG_6713In 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 IMG_6709professional bands.
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.
IMG_6710Andy 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.
IMG_6707 IMG_6706 IMG_6705

26 thoughts on “Obituary – Andy Green

    1. John and Stephen Bishop says:

      Sad news our thoughts are with the family. Andy was always there to give a helpful tip to all runners.

  1. Colin Hague says:

    Tragic and very upsetting. When I joined Hadleigh Olympiads in my teens, Andy was a larger than life character and mainstay of the team. Always good fun. Sylvie and I particularly enjoyed Andy’s company at the Southend AC club chairman’s recent wedding. Reminded me of many good times I had with him in years gone by. Although I knew he must be in his 70s he always seemed much younger than his years and quite Peter Panish. Andy was an amazing athlete in his day. Got his international vest just by being very talented and very fast. A man with a lot of natural abilities and just a really nice person.
    Particularly tragic with Mary’s current circumstances.
    Our condolences to Mike and Dave Our thoughts are with them. It must have been a terrible shock for them both. Their Dad was a truly great character in many ways.

    Colin Hague

  2. John Brock says:

    My earliest memories of Andy are from the late sixties when I was in the sixth form at Southend High. Andy was the metalwork teacher there, probably just out of training college and starting to make his mark on the world of athletics. We schoolboy athletes were thrilled to have him take us out on lunchtime runs, sometimes out on the mudflats at Westcliff when the tide was out. He somehow always seemed to keep his running shorts a lot less muddy than the rest of us! An athlete to be admired and an inspiration.
    John Brock

  3. Sean Batty says:

    So sorry to hear this news Andy was a great guy and done so much for Athletics. Sincere condolences to the family. I remember him getting out his guitar 😊

  4. Mike Mansfield says:

    Very very sad news. Andy was such a great man and his incredible athletic achievements the stuff of legends. My thoughts and condolences to Mary, Dave, Mike and the family. x
    Mike Mansfield

  5. Matt WrIght says:

    Unbelievably sad to hear this news today. Andy was a top class runner and the slightest hint of praise from him was enough to make you feel ten feet tall, given his rare athletic accomplishments. I was so lucky to catch up with Andy over Xmas 2018 when we were back in England for a visit. A true gent and my thoughts go out to the Green family. Rest In Peace Andy.

    Matt

  6. Richard Charleston says:

    Terribly sad news indeed. One of our sports true characters and so generous with his time. Last time I saw Andy was at Parly Hill enjoying watching his Southend AC athletes racing.

    Sincere condolences to all of Andy’s family and friends.

  7. Brenda Robinson says:

    Andy was a great athlete and fellow competitor. I trained with him at Boggart Hole Clough track and we ran in a snowstorm one Christmas Eve – just to get the session in.
    Deepest sympathy to all the family.
    Colin Robinson. Rochdale Harriers.

  8. john dobson says:

    I ran with Andy as part of the Hadleigh Olympiads team at that time. It was a pleasure and a privilege to have known him. We did road and cross country relays together and I did my best to support his efforts for the team. This was in the days when the stars were part of the team and approachable.

  9. Mike Dale says:

    Andy was a teacher at my school, Southend High, and I was a member of Hadleigh Olympiads. My dad died when I was thirteen and Andy would from time to time just check that I was dealing with life and offer support if needed. He was kind, funny and very hard working on the track and his successes thrilled us all at the club. The sight of him digging in down the final straight when his top lip would somehow disappear in a grimace of effort was majestic. Hit the tape Andy!
    My love and condolences to Mary and his sons.

  10. Nigel Webber says:

    I was so sad and shocked to hear of Andy’s sudden passing away. As we had only spoken the week before. I have many good memories of Andy from our running days, starting off at Hadleigh Olympiads and outside of our running life too.

    Andy was one of life’s good guys as they say. I will always remember him that way.

  11. PAUL REED says:

    My sincere condolences to Mary and family. I used to meet Andy and Mary occasionally shopping in Hadleigh, so hearing about Andy was quite a shock. One of my fond memories of Andy was from our time at Hadleigh Olympiads. He used to drive a Mini – how I’ll never know, as he had his knees up each side of the steering wheel! Somehow he managed to get myself and two others from the Olympiads, with our kit into the car and then drove us, if I recall correctly, to Rochester, where we took part in a Trophy meeting. I think that was about July 1966. It was a pleasure and an honour to have known him.

  12. Colin Powell and Family. says:

    I was sad to hear of Andy,s passing away. We had good times training and racing together whilst members of Hadleigh Olympiads and Southend A C . At our many reunions over the years we always talked of old times and friends as if it was only yesterday
    Take care all our love to Mary and Family.

  13. Trevor Law says:

    I was the last Club Captain of Hadleigh Olympiads and knew Andy during his time at the Club.

    I wish to express my personal condolences to Mary, David and Michael for the sudden death of Andy. Recently Andy and I met during an informal meeting of ex Hadleigh Olympiads athletes. Since then we exchanged emails on Andy’s achievements in assisting me writing a book on the Club.

    I will remember Andy to be an outstanding athlete who recorded many notable performances, particularly in his time at Hadleigh Olympiads, generous with his commitment to the Club and a thoroughly decent man. I know that many Hadleigh Olympiads members would also celebrate Andy’s contribution during his time at the Club.

  14. Stephen Black says:

    My condolences to Mary and family. I didn’t know Andy personally, but he provided an early inspiration for my own athletics career. I first met Andy and Mary when they were coaches and I was a participant at a Young Athletes camp at Crystal Palace in 1966. When we moved to Hadleigh in 1968 I remember Andy’s close involvement with Hadleigh Olympiads and his inspiration for other local athletes at the time. I’ve lived in Sydney since 1975, but I still have memories of the influential role played by Andy in the early 70s.

  15. Ian Linton says:

    I was sad to hear of Andy’s death and like some of the others, I met Andy when he was teaching at Southend High. What an inspiration for the school athletes to be able to join in some of Andy’s sessions. My favourite memory is when Andy told us he was competing for GB in the European Cup 1500 on the same day as the senior school mile championship. We said, if you win, we’ll have to beat the school record. 5 minutes before the race came the announcement – Mr Green has won the 1500 metres. We tried Andy but not good enough! And great memories of the 5 mile and 10K series. Hope you are okay Mary and best wishes to the rest of the family.

  16. Eric Chambers says:

    So sad to hear of Andy’s death. I knew Andy well during my time at Sheffield Training college (1962-65) where I was a member of the Harriers and athletics team. We had wonderful times training and competing and I remember vividly travelling on the back of his motorbike to go to Herringthorpe Stadium, Rotherham, to pace make for Andy and Alan Simpson. They were, if I remember correctly, doing 2 sets of 8 repetitions of 400 yards, 60 seconds per lap with a 1 lap jog in between. I could only manage 2 or 3, then had to do the 2nd 200 yards only. A distinct memory was when they were warming down, their jogging was quicker than my running. Very happy memories. I also have the STC Harriers record book for the time – if you would like to see it, I am more than willing to send it.

  17. Leslie Outwin says:

    Just heard the sad news of Andy’s passing. I got to know Andy having been a contemporary of his at Sheffield Training College in the early ’60s and enjoyed many training runs, cross country races and track meetings in his company. After College I taught in Bedford for a time and attended some of the big meetings at the White City Including the AAA of 1965. I met up with Andy that day along with Mary, Mike and their parents. My last meeting with Andy was at a College reunion when we met on the Sunday morning and did one of the old training runs along the Porter Valley. Great memories of good times, a great character and a very fine runner. My condolences to Mary and all the family.

  18. Tony Shiret says:

    I had the pleasure of having some time with Andy at the recent opening of your new stand. He was a teacher at Southend High when I was a pupil (I think, long time ago). While this comes as a shock he was a great athlete and good man who I (and from comments here, others) always enjoyed meeting. Condolences from our family to his. I will think of him on my run this morning.

  19. Keith Palmer says:

    Andy’s passing has been the greatest shock. A lovely man who was so fantastically admired by so many and in so many ways. I have known Andy my whole athletics life, and he was one of those people who never got rattled who always stayed young, never said a bad word, and had friends in many generations. Andy and his wife Mary have given me the upmost support throughout everything I’ve achieved in this sport, and Andy always showed an interest in my other activities too such as Music and gigging, something also close to his heart and something he was doing right up to near his death.

    An incredibly talented man who made history being one of the earliest men in the UK to break the 4 minute mile and gain a special tie from Sir Roger Bannister for this incredible feat. When I managed the Men’s team alongside his son David, when we were in our early 20’s, Andy, then around 50 was also in the team and holding his own against people 1/2 his age.

    Never shy in coming forward with the odd constructive comment, I always think of Andy, who had vast announcing experience, when after I gave a speech as Chairman on the opening of our new clubhouse, he came up to me afterwards and said ‘next time you might want to hold the microphone a little further away from your mouth’. I’ll always remember that, and only very recently I was very honoured that Andy was able to attend my wedding and the opening of our new grandstand, and I thought of those wise words when I gave my speeches.

    Rest in Peace Andy, you should have gone on and on.

    Our thoughts are with the family at this very sad time.

    Keith Palmer & family

  20. Grant Wright says:

    Only recently found out about Andy’s passing. Very sad news. I have fond memories of him from our Wednesday running evenings in the 80’s. He also taught both my brothers and I at Deanes Comprehensive school.
    He was both a character and a true gentleman.
    Heartfelt condolences to Mary, Dave and Mike, from all of the Wright family.

  21. John Blowers says:

    So devastated to hear of your passing Andy. The term legend can often be over used but that really is the only thing I can remember you as. You inspired me to train with a smile on my face – “It’s training not straining”!! An expression I have used in my working life whenever stressed. RIP my friend and lots of love to Mary, Dave, Mike and family xxx

  22. John and Chris Blowers says:

    We are so sorry to hear of Andys passing. Such an inspiration to all the young athletes at Southend Athletics club. It was a privilege to know him.. Thinking of Mary David Michael and family at this sad time

  23. Andy Stowe says:

    Just heard this sad news, condolences to Andys family. As others have said I remember Andy always had a big smile on his face and as a youngster he was always really encouraging to all of us at Southend AC. It was great to see Andy and David last year at my dad’s funeral, we are really sorry to hear the news, but what a running legacy!

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