The same email that brought news to me (from Steve Partington) last week of the withdrawal of race walking from the Commonwealth Games also brought the sad news of Mick Holmes suffering from a heart attack. Mick was a well known British International race walker who broke 4 hours 20 aged just 21 (Redditch 1973) and front walked the 1976 TT walk for three quarters of the distance before being passed by Graham Young. After developing diabetes he switched to the shorter distances for a time but after mastering his insulin injections he returned to the long distances to win the Manchester to Blackpool walks among others. His best time for 20km was recorded here on the Isle of Man on 1 March 1980 when he recorded 1.31.46. It was the first time I competed in what was then the Boundary Harriers invitation meeting and he put two laps on me but he gave me loads of encouragement and support at a crucial time. I've been to the event every year since! His father Harry joined Boundary Harriers and was in the winning team in the 1981 100km National Championships with Graham Young and myself. I stayed with the senior Holmes family on two occassions when taking part in the Bradford 50km and Harry stayed with me several times in my bachelor pad in Victoria Avenue when he walked in the TT Course Walk and the old End to End Walk.
Mick is pictured above (striped shirt) the night before the Lugano Cup in the Isle of Man in 1985 in a Douglas Hotel (any suggestions where?) with John Cannell, ? Harry Homes and Sheffield's Ray Hankin. The second picture is with wife Ann and dad Harry at the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester.
The news came to Steve Partington from 50km distance legend Bob Dobson who said: "Mick suffered a heart attack last Friday evening (now previous Friday) on his way home from watching
Bradford City play at Tranmere. He was rushed to Leeds Hospital and underwent a stent
insertion to a major artery that night. He is now home and awaiting an
appointment, possibly 2 weeks time, to undergo a treadmill test and evaluate the
possible need for 2 more stents. I'm sure he would appreciate any messages to
cheer him up from ex walking colleagues. Mick can be contacted at 27 Midland
Road,Baildon,Shipley,West Yorkshire BD17 6AT or email [email protected]"
Murray Lambden 29 January 2007