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Long-serving athletics writer dies at 69

Long-serving Huddersfield Daily Examiner athletics correspondent Granville Beckett has died aged 69.

A great ambassador for the sport, he had also provided coverage as a freelance correspondent for the Yorkshire Post, Sheffield Star, Halifax Courier, York Evening Press and Bradford Telegraph and Argus.

By the time he retired in 2001 he had written about athletics for 43 years, producing up to 40 articles a week on his favourite sport and his other passion, boxing.

In 1970 he was invited to become a member of the British Athletics Writers Association.

For half a century Granville was also a major figure with Longwood Harriers Athletics Club.

He became Longwood secretary, a position he held for 23 years, before becoming West Yorkshire District Secretary for 10 years and, later, working for five years as North of England secretary.

He gave up these key administrative positions only on health grounds after suffering a heart attack in 1997.

In his capacity as general secretary, Granville helped steer through the amalgamation between the Northern men’s and women’s governing bodies as they had been autonomous until 1992.

He was honoured by being made president of the Longwood club, County and North of England.

He established the Longwood 10-mile road race more than 40 years ago and staged Yorkshire’s first floodlit athletics meeting at Leeds Road Playing Fields in 1963.

In addition, he formed the West Yorkshire League in 1968 and the Yorkshire Road Relay Championships in 1981, both of which are still going strong.

Granville leaves a widow, Pat, daughter Elizabeth, son Graham, and three grandsons.

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