OVER 100 runners have written tributes to a much-loved athletics coach from local running club Bournville Harriers. Joe Lewis, who died unexpectedly last month at the age of 70, held regular training sessions with the club which has been inundated with runners submitting their comments online.
Lewis, a former pupil of Handsworth Grammar School, was a schoolboy athlete who joined Birchfield Harriers and displayed a lifelong enthusiasm for running, becoming well known and liked throughout the Midlands’ running community.
In recent years he took up an informal role in coaching and supporting runners at Bournville Harriers, running regular training sessions on Monday evenings and Saturday mornings as well as taking track training in the summer months.
News of his death on the Bournville Harriers’ website has been met with over 100 comments from those who knew him. He was also a trained sport masseur, something he is well remembered for with one website commenter saying: “I always felt as though I left your massage table with a new pair of legs despite my endless protestations!”
Bournville Harriers say they plan to continue with the training regime that Joe started and are in discussions with his family about how to best honour his memory.
Bournville Harriers’ Chairman Chris Harlan-Marks said: “Joe Lewis was a coach in every sense of the word. He gave tirelessly for his athletes, and his passion for his sport was an inspiration to all of us. He will be greatly missed, both within our club and by many members of the local running community, but not soon forgotten”.
Joe Lewis lived in Northfield and leaves a wife, Pam, and their 3 children and 6 grandchildren.