Har­rier Wil­lie... ‘a gen­tle­man’

Trib­utes flood in for for­mer har­rier

Rutherglen Reformer - - News - Andy McGil­vray

Trib­utes have been paid to a for­mer Cam­bus­lang Har­rier who passed away at the age of 88.

Wil­lie Mar­shall, who died on Fri­day, Septem­ber 30, was a mul­ti­ple World and Euro­pean vet­eran cham­pion and set sev­eral records at both lev­els dur­ing a glit­ter­ing ca­reer.

Start­ing out with Mother­well YMCA and pro­gress­ing to Clyde Val­ley and fi­nally to Ron Hill Cam­bus­lang Har­ri­ers, Wil­lie only started run­ning se­ri­ously at the age of 55.

At 72 he was still fin­ish­ing 10k road races in un­der 40 min­utes.

Wil­lie’s son David said: “My dad was ba­si­cally a quiet, unas­sum­ing, true gen­tle­man.

“He was a phe­nom­e­non - from his 50s and 60s es­pe­cially - he was all over the world win­ning world championships, set­ting world records, and at 72 he was still get­ting times of un­der 40 min­utes for 10k.

“He didn’t seem to slow down at all. He set times of un­der 35 min­utes for 10k when he was in his 60s.

“He was in Ja­pan, Canada, Switzer­land, Ger­many, Czech Re­pub­lic and was at World and Euro­pean championships, par­tic­u­larly from the age of 55 on­wards.

“He was out on the roads and if you saw him you would think he was quite slow and frail look­ing, but he turned up for races and went up a few gears.

“His pol­icy for train­ing was long, slow dis­tances, but he was rac­ing ev­ery other week, so he was able to carry it off.

“I’m very proud of him. He didn’t boast, he was very quiet and unas­sum­ing, and no­body would have known about his achieve­ments if they didn’t read about it. He never bragged about it.”

Wil­lie, who worked as an in­voice clerk, won at least 10 Scot­tish vet­eran track ti­tles, Scot­tish vet­eran cross coun­try ti­tles and a sil­ver and bronze, 14 UK vet­eran track ti­tles and four road ti­tles, four Euro­pean vet­eran and four world vet­eran ti­tles.

He won his first world ti­tles in Canada in 1994 at 10k and 25k on the road, in the male 65- and- over cat­e­gory, and in the same year he won his first Bri­tish veter­ans’ in­door 3000m.

In 2000, Wil­lie won the M70 world 10k ti­tle in Spain in a time of 39 min­utes and 57 sec­onds.

Wil­lie leaves son David, daugh­ter Carol, their spouses Fiona and Brian, grand­chil­dren Lau­ren and Grant, and great-grand­son Noah.

Wil­lie’s wife Mary died in 2007.

No­body would have known about his achieve­ments. He was quiet

Trib­utes Wil­lie Mur­doch

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