Capes all set for athletics' hall of fame
Holbeach athletics legend Geoff Capes is set to join other stars of the sport in a national hall of fame.
The three-time Olympian, double Commonwealth Games shot put champion and founder of Lincolnshire Throws Academy is due to be honoured at an awards night in October, nearly 40 years after retiring from the sport.
It was feared that Capes, who also won two European indoor shot put titles, might be denied the honour due to his straight-talking, no-nonsense reputation,
But after a campaign, launched by family, friends and the Spalding Guardian last November (read here), he will now join ex-GB team-mates Lord Sebastian Coe, Brendan Foster and Steve Ovett on England Athletics’ roll of honour.
Capes said: “I’ve been told in writing by England Athletics that I’ll be presented with the Hall of Fame award in October.
“I’d like to thank the people of Lincolnshire for supporting me in getting the award because of the campaign run through the newspaper.
“My former coach, Stuart Storey, got it last year and he was dumbfounded that I hadn't got it.
"That promoted a lot of people to say 'This is ridiculous', although my values haven't changed and I've always said it as it is.
"It's a great award to be given for my services to athletics and it's also great to be accepted by my peers into the England Athletics Hall of Fame."
Storey, also of Holbeach, hurdled for Britain at the 1968 Mexico Olympics before coaching Capes at theOlympics in Munich (1972), Montreal (1976) and Moscow (1980).
Speaking to the Guardian, Storey said: "I'm delighted Geoff is to be inducted into the hall of fame because he's given great service to England Athletics over the years.
"Geoff was one of the foremost athletes of his time in the context of the British team and he was very successful in his time.
"I first met him when we were both living in Holbeach and he was a bit of a rough and ready young man.
"Then he took up the shot put and that changes his life, putting him on the road to success.
"I just wish he got more support from British athletics in the same way that England Athletics has seen the part he is playing in the sport's development."
More by this authorWinston Brown