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Silent Tribute to Tameside Freeman Dr Ron Hill MBE

Press Release: 03/06/2021

 

Ron HillCLLR Janet Cooper, the Civic Mayor of Tameside, is inviting Tameside residents to take part in a minute’s silence to mark the death of athlete, businessman and honorary freeman of the borough Dr Ron Hill MBE.

The Mayor will be joined by the executive leader of Tameside Council, Cllr Brenda Warrington, and the chief executive, Mr Steven Pleasant MBE at 3.45pm on the day of his funeral, Friday, June 11.

Members of the public are welcome and encouraged to observe the silence and pay their respects in their own way but are asked to make sure they do so while observing covid restrictions so that everyone remains safe.  

Dr Hill, who lived in Hyde, died on May 23 aged 82. He came to national prominence when he represented Britain in the 10,000 metres at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics and went on to become one of distance running’s all-time greats.

He won marathon gold at the 1969 European Championships in Athens and the 1970 Edinburgh Commonwealth Games. In 1971 he took bronze at the Helsinki European Championships, and finished sixth at the 1972 Munich Olympics behind such legendary athletes as Frank Shorter of the USA and Mamo Wolde of Ethiopia.

Dr Hill laid claim to the longest streak of consecutive running – every day for 52 years and 39 days from 1964 to 2017. He also held a host of world records at various distances and won several overseas marathons including Boston in 1970 when he shattered the course record by three minutes. He had raced in 100 countries before his 70th birthday in 2008.

Using his doctorate in textile chemistry, Dr Hill founded Ron Hill Sports in 1970, pioneering revolutionary lightweight kit such as wrap-over shorts, mesh vests, waterproof running jackets and reflective strips made from synthetic materials.

The company proved so successful that the brand became synonymous with running.

In 1981, Dr Hill launched the Tour of Tameside which was billed as the toughest challenge in British athletics. It comprised a double marathon run within the space of a week with each of the six stages being over different terrain. The Tour, which drew competitors from all over the world, ran until 2000. It was relaunched in a modified format in 2015 and remains as popular and challenging as ever.

The Civic Mayor said: “Ron Hill brought great credit to Tameside, where he lived for more than 50 years. It was in recognition of this fact that he was invested as a freeman of the borough in December, 2019.

“I’m sure residents would wish to join me in paying their respects to this most remarkable man when I take part in the minute’s silence in his memory. If you want to, please join in, and in any way you see fit, but please remember to observe safety rules.”

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