Written by David Barrington
Following the untimely early deaths in very recent years of two members of their vibrant fellow Polytechnic Harriers’ YA middle distance group of the late 1970s/early 1980s,Steve Ray and Joe Budarkiewicz, we are extremely sad to learn from Pat Mulligan of the equally untimely passing of Russ Page,at just 53 years of age. Along with Joe’s twin Ant Budarkiewicz,Andrew Charman and David Beaver, all 7 athletes comprised a talented,committed and successful squad of young MD competitors.
Russ Page was also one of our predecessor Club’s leading steeplechasers,of whom we had four at 9.41.0 or under at the same time! Such was the talent and consistency of current Club Record Holder,John Barnard(9.06.43) and Tony Stedman(9.15.8) that Russ at 9.38.6 and Pat Mulligan(9.41.0) each only managed to claim a BAL place on a handful of occasions,but still contributed substantially for and to the Club in many ways,and to compete for and team manage prolifically our SML team. Russ also won medals at the Middlesex Champs,was part of the Club’s regular teams and the camaraderie for the joyous trips to the St Amand Les Eaux Relays in France and he still stands 15th on Peter Waddington’s K&P All-Time 3000m ‘Chase Rankings List(q.v.).
After a spell in the Met Police,Russ spent most of his working life at Fullers Brewery at Hogarth Roundabout on the A4 at Chiswick,where his father worked and where his son has followed suit. Along with many leading Polytechnic athletes over the years,including international sprinters,Bob Frith and Andy Ronay,Russ was on the prolific production line of the former Chiswick Grammar School and was introduced to our sport and the Poly by the school’s eminent athletics master and guru,John Troake.
We share the sadness with Russ’s family,particularly wife,Vicky,son Fraser and daughter, Georgia.
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