England Athletics are sad to report that Selby Brock, one of the unsung heroes of our sport, passed away last Sunday, 12 July.
Although he had no history in the sport, not long after joining the School in 1961, Selby became master-in-charge of cross-country at Bradford Grammar School ‘because no-one else would’. He then proceeded to build, together with Tony Kingham, who joined BGS a few years later, a school club that would soon become, and remain for the next 40 years, probably the most successful in the country.
But Selby’s contribution to cross-country should not be measured simply by results (impressive as they were – including numerous Northern Schools’ team titles and alumni who went on to grace Olympic stadia): he introduced generations of boys to running, with many still involved, whether in participation, as volunteers or, indeed, both. He was ‘old school’, a scholar, statistician, archivist, mentor and gentleman and, when it came to care and support, he was talent-blind: everyone benefitted from his time, his advice and his encouragement.
Even following his retirement in 1997, Selby continued to provide support to the School teams and to the Bradford and West Yorkshire Schools’ Associations.
His was a life well lived and he will be missed by the many whose own lives have been the richer for it.