Tony Fern "Bitesize" Part 1 (26/04/2017)

When we caught up with former member, ultra runner and coach Tony Fern at the National Road Relays we asked him to bring us some information on his life within athletics after heading south. He begins here.

Leaving Tipton

"When my firm offered me a plum job down in Southampton I could not refuse I was 35 and the family came first. My main regrets were l knew I would have to leave Tipton and not seeing Villa.

But I believe my success as a coach was due in the main to the Tipton ethos of honest effort and love of team mates. Bert Harbach who until Alan Rushmer joined the club was our best runner was a great help to every one.

I hate the the word elite its an excuse the other excuse is they are lucky to be so talented. Talent is only a blessing only if you use it, great athletes like Alan train harder to make that talent pay also he was prepared to travel to train with athletes of the same ability.

I felt a thrill every time I pulled on a Tipton vest my greatest moment was leading Tipton to victory in the 1964 London to Brighton.

At Southampton they know I will always be a Tipton Harrier I will give you a simple reason why I loved Tipton so much, other teams had there parents feeding them we had two Internationals Bert Harbach and Jim Wright. The next time I will tell you of the shock of joining a mainly track club and my struggle to get the selfish attitude dropped."

For more information on Tony see his website