Bernie Hercock: 1936-2018
The ERWL and Enfield & Haringey AC lost a great supporter and servant when Bernie Hercock passed away on 25th February. Bernie’s funeral will take place at 11.30am on 21st March at The Enfield Crematorium.
Ron Wallwork sent us an obituary from the Club's newsletter, and including well wishes from those who knew Bernie. Click here to read the full obituary and messages from friends and colleagues (PDF 260kB)
Born 29th October 1936, Bernie started running when he was at school and joined Ponders End AC on 13th May 1953 as a sprinter and won the junior 100yards and placed third in the junior 220 and junior discus.
It was during his national service that Bernie switched from sprinting to longer distances representing his battalion at cross country running and track events over 880 yards. After his flirt with the longer distances he concentrated on road and country, his real passion being road relays. Hard work along with Bernie’s obvious talent produced an impressive list of pb’s: 5 miles 24.56, 6 miles 28.59, 10 miles 53.08, 20 miles 1.50.50, half marathon 71.21, 25km 1.26.31 and 2.26.31 in the Manchester Maxol marathon. In addition he won club track championships completed several of the Orion 15 miles cross country races.
In the late seventies and early eighties his running career tapered off. He was knocked down by a car whilst training and although unconscious for several hours, was fortunate to get away with just severe bruising. He continued running regularly although the effects of back and hand injuries, he reached the point where running was painful.
Watching an Enfield League fixture in 2004 reminded him of a four race affair he had had with race walking in his early twenties and after helping at subsequent races, decided to turn out and have a go. The distance was just 5km which he found wasn’t too painful and so a month later did the open seven. After that he had the walking bug and in 2009 turned out to represent the club on a staggering forty-five occasions at distances from 2km to 50km. He turned out regularly until 2015, which was amazing in view of the fact that he had a cardiac arrest in 2010 at the end of a Southern Vets 2km, where fortunately, two of his fellow competitors were GPs and probably saved his life and he was diagnosed with cancer three years later.
He was also a tireless behind the scenes worker for the club and the League and in recent years his generosity has been immense; the success of the 90th Enfield Open and re-union and the 2012 and 2017 Friendship Walks, just three of many instances where his input was the key factor in their success.
As a fellow athlete, official and friend he will be sorely missed.
The photograph shows Bernie with the then Mayor of Enfield, Councillor Kate Onolue at the Club’s exhibition at Enfield Museum as part of the Borough’s Olympic celebrations. And yes, that is Bernie on the poster behind.