Geoffory Smith


Geoff's passing

                                                 THE PASSING OF GEOFF SMITH

It was received with great shock for both Banbury Harriers and the town when on Saturday 2n of May that Geoff Smith suddenly died. Smithy was the spearhead of The Banbury Fifteen road-race and also a long standing member Harriers track and field club.

 He held the position of club chairman in recent years and also an inspirational coach, he also competed for the club and organised East Midland Grand Prix’s Banbury Five. He was also a strong supporter of the Oxfordshire Cross-country League.  The Banbury Fifteen run alongside The Paul Bithell Memorial Fun Run taking place in March over the years raised money for Katherine House.     

His coaching skills produced a number of talented young athletes, perhaps the best Connie McMillan who not only reached the top at cross-country on the track distances from 800metres to 3000metres. She even claimed medals at 300and 400metres hurdles at UK championships at under 17 and junior level’s. Recently he has helped Ros Kelling develop the talents of Emily Thompson as a more than useful 800 and 1500metre runner.

 Geoff was born on the 3rd of March 1946 and lived in Boddington, from an early age developed an interest in all sport. This was soon noticed and at teenage school level he gained junior county cap at cricket with Warwickshire. He also soon caught the eye at football with his tough tackling attitude in what would be called today playing in midfield. His pace and work rate was never a doubt he soon gained recognition at school level. Then was asked to join Woodford United FC who played then in Northampton Combination League.

He was soon spotted by Long Buckby with his all energy and tough tackling style and he moved to join them in division two of the United Counties League, this was the season of 1969/70.

Over the coming seasons Geoff made such an impact and became vice captain, the club gained promotion to the premier league and gained a host of trophies and league honours. Geoff was always first on the team sheet and he was quick to criticize those who slacked on the playing field.

He met his wife Sandra and worked at Alcan, the downside travelling to Long Buckby in all weathers on his scooter from the family home in Fenny Compton.  Snow caused a problem one Christmas but his Dad came to the rescue be it 7.30 in the morning for an afternoon kick-off. The outcome was a winning margin of 4-1.

Geoff then approaching later years joined Tysoe and played and managed the club.

 His two sons came into the world and has they developed he joined Banbury Harriers with the family in the early 1980’s.

  Both the boys became useful athletes Sullivan an all- round middle distance runner and Wesley a 50metre plus javelin thrower. Sullivan at present holds the record for the Banbury Fifteen.

  This coming Tuesday see’s this year’s running of the Banbury Five from its usual start in Burns Road and finish at The Easington.  Geoff will hope a course record will go and knowing him for liking a little flutter on the horses he will have a bet on that happening.  This would be a fitting tribute to him.


Thanks to Mike for this. There will be more in the Banbury Guardian this week. 



website cms powered by csb internet