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BRIAN GOLDSMITH (24.02.1950 – 22.03.2008)

Brian Goldsmith who died on Saturday morning. He had marshalled at the Easter Festival the previous evening.

Tribute by Ian Turnbull

The Manxsports world has been shocked by the sudden and untimely death of Brian Goldsmith, aged just 58 years, a most popular member of Manx Harriers and  IOMVAC.

The youngest of three brothers, Brian grew up in Murray’s Road, Douglas and was a champion schoolboy swimmer and athlete. Off to college in1968, a civil service job in Manchester followed. After marrying his beloved Sandie in 1972, rugby union was his sport up until his return to the Island, complete with wife, son and daughter in 1984.

He immediately joined Boundary Harriers and quickly became an enthusiastic and successful runner, despite spending most of his free time in those early years renovating the family home in Glen Vine. Among his many achievements were his sub-60 minutes 10 miles and sub-3 hours marathon. Much as Brian enjoyed recording pbs, his greatest athletic pleasures came from the camaraderie of his fellow athletes, in particular the group Sunday morning training runs (and, more latterly, walks) and driving to and from events, provided of course he had someone to talk to!! Furthermore, a reflection of the many hours he spent on Douglas promenade as a lad, he was always happiest when he was running in sight of the sea!

Early into the new millennium several running injuries resulted in Brian turning to race-walking, an activity he had not always appreciated as a runner! In typical Brian fashion, he quickly immersed himself into the race-walking world and enjoyed heel-to-toe as much as he had his running. More recently he looked forward each week to his Tuesday evening training walks from the NSC with his great pals, Dougie Allen and John Stubbs, although I think the sausage, chips and beans that followed were part of the attraction! One of his most satisfying walks was just six short months ago, when he finished the End-to-End in 8- 23-16, 3rd vet man in the 55 – 59 age category. So popular was Brian that Sandie and Kate had to queue to get to kiss him on his arrival at the Sound, but they loved to see his popularity!

Brian was always one of the first to volunteer to help when not competing, indeed the evening before his death he was on duty marshalling on Port Erin promenade (in sight of the sea!) for the Easter Festival 10K run.

However, by far his greatest joy was his beloved family, his wonderful wife Sandie, whom he first dated when both were just 14 years old (having already fancied him for two years, Sandie was overjoyed when, on their first meeting, Brian asked her to be his girlfriend, love at first sight for both), son Robert and daughter Kate, both of whom he adored and treasured as a doting Dad. No mean athlete herself, Sandie (Parish Walk finisher in 2001) and Brian were so very much in love after 35 years of marriage and had plans to do so much following his planned retirement in 2010.

A gentle, kind and loving man, in the 23 years that I was privileged to know Brian I never heard him say anything bad of anyone; he will be sorely missed by his many, many friends (not only athletics but also civil service colleagues, particularly in Customs and Excise, and the many friends he made through Marown Church and through his most recent past-times, ballroom dancing and duplicate bridge, having taken up the latter with me just four short weeks ago but, in typical Brian fashion, loving every minute of it and even intending playing on Easter Monday evening. Sadly it was not to be…..).

Our heart-felt sympathy goes out to his precious “girls” Sandie and Kate and treasured son Robert, brothers John and Syd, father-in-law Guy (Manx Radio Rentals), brother-in-law, sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews, great nieces, great nephews, cousins and all the family. A truly lovely, lovely and loving man.

I would like to place on record my own personal love and gratitude to Brian, Sandie and family for their support, encouragement and love following my own illness and the death of my dear wife one year ago, I don’t know how I would have coped had I not been embraced into the wonderful Goldsmith family. Au revoir Brian, you will never be forgotten.

Finally, a message from Sandie, Robert and Kate –

Brian is irreplaceable, he has left a huge void in our lives, he lives on in our hearts, nobody can take our special memories away, we have so many happy ones. His unconditional love is sorely missed. We plan to emulate Brian and stand tall for him. He was so true, straight and honest, very loving and his heart was open to everyone. He was always the same.

We believe that he is in heaven and that we will meet again one day; what a reunion that will be! Meanwhile we have roles to play in this life and we are gaining strength from God. Brian died suddenly but peacefully, we have many blessings. Many thanks to Ian for writing such a moving tribute. Many thanks also to family and friends, too many to be named individually. Please be comforted that you all played a part in making  Brian a happy and contented man. He loved all the affection he received, we used to joke about the hardship of walking and working with his girls. He will be sending big hugs to you all. Thank you to Murray for the website, Brian used to log on to it every day, it gave him much pleasure; also for the lovely true to life photo of Brian in Kirk Michael in last years End-to-End (no wonder he’s smiling, he’s just had a kiss from Sandie!).

If Brian had written this, it would have been in bullet points!

He was not for swaps!


A song for Brian

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