Herne Hill Harriers mourn the passing of club legend Allen
Herne Hill Harriers has been paying tribute to club legend Stan Allen, who died on New Year’s Day, aged 79.
Allen spent 62 years with the Tooting-based club fulfilling many roles including hon. general secretary, track secretary, membership secretary, magazine editor, clothing secretary, cross-country captain and club coach to scores of distance runners wearing the HHH vest.
The Brixton-born runner also served as club president for two stints from 1964-65 and 1997-98.
David Cocksedge, who worked with Allen at IPC Business Press for nine years, said: “In every sense, Stan was Herne Hill Harriers.
“I first met Stan at Tooting Bec Track in 1962 when he helped Bob Fisher and I fill in membership forms for the club. Back then, he was known as ‘the Chris Brasher look-alike’ though he was taller than the 1956 Olympic steeplechase champion.”
He added: “He was crippled by injury later in life, and had difficulty in getting about, which must have been highly frustrating for such a dynamic man who could dash off a 10-mile run without giving the session a second thought.
“We will never see his like again.”
One of Allen’s former protégées Steven Downes said: “Stan devoted seemingly all his spare time either to scouting or to Herne Hill Harriers whether trackside at Tooting Bec, his second home, or marking a cross-country course in Brockwell Park, driving the mini bus (that he had acquired), selling club vests, doing the teas.
“He always had an encouraging and kind word, and a smile.”
Allen's personal bests: 1,500m - three minutes, 55.7 seconds; one mile - 4:15.1; two miles - 9:28.5; three miles - 14:45.8; six miles - 31:28.0; 10,000m - 32:49.0; marathon - 2.33:33; 2,000m steeplechase - 6:14.4; 3,000m steeplechase - 9:41.0.