A Brownhills hero caught on film


Geoff Harrington at home, as photographed by David Evans.

A couple of weeks ago, I ran an article here that has proven remarkably popular: a story of amazing sporting heroism and a subsequent life of administering fair play as a snooker referee – the wonderful life story of local man Geoff Harrington.

At the time the story was sent to me by David Evans, I recognised Geoff as a noted local historian who’d worked on books with Bill and Clarice Mayo, and knew little of his sporting prowess. Through the material kindly donated by Geoff a story emerged of a Brownhills unsung hero, and readers were enthralled by it.

I said at the time I had more material to come, including a film. I was preparing this post for the weekend, when I’d have time to upload the film – but by a wonderful act of felicity, the remarkable newsreel footage of Geoff setting a world record at Powderhall in 1951 has been uploaded to YouTube by Chris Lawrence, and I feature it blow for readers to watch.

Film courtesy Geoff Harrington and Chris Lawrence

History rapscallion Peter ‘Pedro’ Cutler also got to work on the story and found the following news clippings relating to Geoff’s running career: he was clearly a very big deal at the time, yet it seems few in Brownhills know it today.

Interesting to note the ‘Darlington’ reference – seems local papers then were about as accurate as they are now!

It has been a great pleasure and honour to share this story with the community, and I’m hugely grateful to all involved – David Evans, Peter Cutler, Chris Lawrence… and of course, the gentleman himself, Geoff Harrington.

Thanks, Geoff – for a wonderful life in sport, and for letting me tell the story here.

This entry was posted in Brownhills stuff, Events, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local History, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to A Brownhills hero caught on film

  1. Peter Leek says:

    A truely great story I’ve known Geoff most of my life firstly thru my Dad who was good friends with Geoff and then when i started work he was the first person to speak to me. Always loved to hear of Geoff’s stories and exploits and when we moved house we actually lived next door to him so my own children have grown up hearin many of the stories.

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