Long serving members of Morpeth Harriers & AC will be sorry to learn of the death of former athlete and long serving colleague Eddie Hudspith, following a long and bravely fought battle with Parkinson’s Disease.
Eddie, who is the father of two of the clubs finest athletes Mark and Ian, and was later to witness the emergence of two of his grandchildren, Andrew and Joseph in competitive action at the club, was part of Morpeth’s competing hierarchy in the late 60’s, and into the 70’s and 80’s in a Veteran capacity, following an earlier running career with the now defunct Benwell Harriers, alongside other North East notables, who all went on to make their name in the sport, with rivals such as Elswick Harriers, Gosforth Harriers, and Heaton Harriers.
Instead, Eddie chose Morpeth to be his new stamping ground, and linked up with the now legendary Jim Alder, to strengthen a growing squad, with a burning ambition for success, not only regionally,
but also territorially and nationally.
Eddie fitted in well alongside his new colleagues, who included Alder, Doug Cockburn,
Peter Carmichael, Tom Horne, and Alec Matheson.
He also assisted by taking an interest in the clubs’ democratic affairs, however, not without a sense of humour,
or even mischief at times, which brought a likeable light-hearted view to many a serious matter.
One such occasion was at one of the clubs annual General Meetings, where it came to electing the clubs officers, and Eddie promptly said that he was proposing that Alec Matheson be elected Sheriff, (laughter at this was duly observed and appreciated), according to those present, and this moment certainly endeared him to his colleagues.
(The above tale was referred to by Jim Alder on numerous occasions).
On the competitive front, one result from 20th December 1988,
clearly shows that Eddie, now aged 48, was still producing prolific performances.
That was in the Saltwell 10k Road Race, on the old course, involving the notorious Chowdene Bank.
In the separate Veteran Men’s race, Eddie finished 25th in an excellent 35m35s, only four minutes adrift of his eldest son Mark, who had finished tenth in the Senior Men’s race, leading Morpeth to a six-point margin team victory over Sunderland Harriers.
Eddie’s time alone, would have seen him in the top 100 of the Senior Male finishers,
and only one Woman, Sheila Catford of Leeds City finished ahead of him that day.
Behind all good Men, there is also a good Woman, and in Eddie’s case, that is certainly no exception,
his Wife Pat, has indeed been a staunch supporter for him for many years, and in helping him to bring forth the superb talents of Mark and Ian, who both achieved International success,
and also witnessed the club debuts of Grandsons Andrew and Joseph.
In closing, Morpeth Harriers & AC, would wish to offer much sincere condolences to Pat, Mark, Ian,
and all of Eddie’s close family at this very sad time for them, but also to thank them for their support
and close association throughout all of the years they have given us.
Eddies funeral took place on Thursday, 7th November,
at the Crematorium on the West Road, Newcastle upon Tyne.