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Former athlete and respected coach Bill Dance has died after a long illness.
Bill who comes from the North East, began his running career at Benwell Harriers, a successful club in its day. When they were disbanded Bill briefly joined Morpeth before his job took him to London where he joined Belgrave Harriers.
During my time with Bristol AC, I had many close battles with Bill, usually in road relays. Headed by Gerry and Geoff North, Belgrave were a powerful force on the road vying with the likes of Portsmouth, Coventry, Bristol, Derby and North Staffs. Bill was at the peak of his career and was a vital member of that outstanding Belgrave team.
A chemist by training, Bill moved to work for ICI at Huddersfield whose premises were opposite the Leeds Road track. Bill joined Longwood where I was a member on my return to Yorkshire and we ran together in many Longwood teams.
Bill continued running successfully as a veteran combining his own career with a highly successful coaching career and many Yorkshire athletes owe him a tremendous debt either as a hands on coach or as a friend and mentor.
A career change in the nineties saw Bill appointed as stadium manager at Don Valley, a role he carried out with unfailing efficiency, courtesy and good humour. It was at a time when Olympic Champions and world record holders came to the Don Valley International meetings which, of course, hosted County Championships, English Schools, British League and numerous local meetings.
The athletics community send their sympathy to Bill’s wife Brenda and their sons Chris and Johnny.
Bill’s funeral service will be held on Tuesday 30th September at 10.30am in St. Stephen’s Church Lidget Street Lindley Huddersfield HD3 3JB.
Family private burial at Rose Hill Burial Ground and family flowers only. Donations in lieu to the Charity Parkinson’s UK.
Afterwards Brenda and Family invite friends to attend a celebration of Bill’s life at the Black Bull in Lindley HD3 2BS