John Harper

Posted by Administrator on Wed 6 January 2021

Tributes to John Harper who passed away with his family around him on Saturday

We were notified by Yvonne, John's wife on Sunday 3rd January with the following email message: 

"John died peacefully yesterday.  He was at home and with his family as he wanted. He wrote after his cancer diagnosis "I am not scared of death. When I look back over my life I am so thankful for all the good experiences I have had and people I have met."

From DAVE LODWICK, Chair of the Leics and Rutland AA

"John was a strong supporter of the County's young athletes and did much important work behind the scenes. My memory is of someone who had firm opinions but always communicated them in a calm and measured way. He brought those same qualities to his officiating, creating the perfect environment for young athletes to experience the joy of competing."

JOHN SKEVINGTON has contributed the following:

"John was an avid supporter of the Network when it was formed in 2010 and offered much input into its early development. He was instrumental in helping get the early series of Quadkids events underway again offering advice and ideas of how to improve the events from an official's viewpoint. His calm and balanced thoughts were always appreciated. It was he who recruited and arranged the officials for each match and was field Judge at all of the earlier events before needing to stand down due to family commitments.

It was his suggestion that an early season multi-event should be promoted to bring the county's young athletes some purposeful early season competition. The outcome of this, again with his help and wisdom, was the introduction of the DOME CHALLENGE which carries on to this day. He will be sadly missed and our thoughts are with his family at this time``

CHERIE D’SILVA, previously the Officials’ Secretary for Leics & Rutland AA, said how much John would be missed. “He had reduced his officiating and organising commitments in 2016 when his wife became ill. However he continued right up into 2019 to support the disability athletics events which were organised by our Leics Disability Athletics Development Group. He was so reliable and so supportive of new officials and new volunteers, particularly in ensuring that those with a disability had a positive experience. He was a high-level experienced official who never forgot that athletics is for all, regardless of ability. We knew our events were in safer hands with John H on the team.” He will be missed by so many of us. John was an active supporter of the Charnwood AC when it was first established back in the 1970s and he also contributed such a lot new opportunities particularly for youngsters at club level. 

There is a photo of John on our Facebook page. 
We have lost three very committed and active members of the Leicestershire & Rutland Athletics Association in the last 4 months - John Harper, Margaret Fox and Ian Wilson. All three gave so much to support athletics in the county and all three were massive supporters of disability athletics events - ensuring that this county had the greatest participation at a high level of athletics.