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Tributes paid to athletics veteran

 Published on: 27th June 2018   |   By: Jason Allen   |   Category: Uncategorized

Tributes have been paid to a member of the Bedmond community known for his work with athletics, a smile on his face and his trademark white cap.

Fred Ward, who was born in Egypt in 1925, but moved back to the UK in 1959 and later became involved with the Watford Harriers after his daughter discovered her love of athletics, passed away on June 24.

His daughter Teresa led the tributes to a man she said was supportive of everyone.

She said: “He was a family man, he had eight children, seven girls and one boy and I lose count of how many grandchildren and great grandchildren he had altogether. He loved all of them dearly.

“He was very supportive to everyone and loved his athletics.

“He won many medals and trophies for swimming, diving and water polo in Egypt where he was born, to an Italian mother.

“In Egypt he spoke Arabic like a native. He could also speak French, Greek and a little Italian.

“He was still active in athletics for the longest time. He used to coach athletics at Watford Harriers and even until he went into hospital, he was still time-keeping for them and helping out.

“I always used to joke that it was really my fault that he got into athletics in the first place. It was while I was at secondary school that we noticed I was quite good at it and he used to come and support me and ended up becoming a coach.

“He will be sorely missed.”

Others paid tribute to Fred on social media, one saying: “He gave so much great service to athletics both in Hertfordshire and the region.”

Another said: “He was so adorable, coached all three of my children and I will miss giving him a hug at the tracks.

“It will be sad not to see Fred and his trademark white baseball cap. God bless him.”

Picture courtesy of Teresa Ward

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