David came to our Centenary Dinner in 1986 on condition that he was treated as “one of the boys” and did not have to make a speech. He was great company, meeting many of his old friends and competitors. I was so lucky to be sitting next to him throughout the evening.
He competed in the English National Cross-Country Championships for Manchester Athletic Club in 1952 (116th, 3rd team) and 1953 (118).
We know that he won The Manchester Mile, the only non-international to do so. He was a very fine athlete who, because of injury, did not reach his full potential. He missed out on the trials for the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki. There is a strange irony in that his club mate, Frank Evans, reached the semi-final of the 800 metres at these Games. Frank won the large silver Rose Bowl (that was The Manchester Mile Trophy) outright, having won it three times in succession. He emigrated to New Zealand and when he died his widow donated the Trophy back to Manchester Harriers.
We already had plans to resurrect The Manchester Mile next year and now, maybe, we’ll call it The David Coleman Manchester Mile. We will always remember him with much affection.
Manchester Harriers & Athletic Club