Graham Ellis

It is with great sadness that the club announces the death of Graham Ellis on Tuesday 11th June, aged 68. Graham had lived with Parkinson’s Disease for many years and had remained active until the last six months or so.  

Graham joined the club as a junior in 1967 and was made Honorary Life Member following his incredible senior international career. He was undoubtedly one of the club’s most successful athletes and was Club Captain from 1977/78 to 1978/79 .

Graham’s name is on many of the club trophies, including the Edgar Whiteley Trophy, his first club race in 1968, and the Ian Roberts Memorial Trophy and Phillip Bradley Rose Bowl as a senior.

The titles he claimed include Yorkshire Cross Country Champion (1979, 1980, 1982), Northern Cross Country Silver (1980) and Bronze (1981) , Yorkshire Marathon Champion (1980), Yorkshire 20 mile Champion (1976) and Yorkshire 10 mile Champion (1975, 1976). He went on to represent Yorkshire, North of England, England and Great Britain over the road, cross country and track.

He helped Holmfirth Harriers to win many team titles including Yorkshire Cross Country Champions.  His calibre is demonstrated by the fact that he still holds the club records for 5,000m; 13:52 set in 1979, and the 10,000m; 28:44 set in 1978.  His 10 mile PB was 47:20, a time that many might associate more with 10 kilometres than miles.

Graham remained heavily involved in the club even after his career, regularly helping at club races and attending social events. He was a Trustee of the club’s headquarters following the significant Neiley Pavilion upgrade project, officially opened in 1998, for almost 20 years.  

In August 2022 Graham set off with 20 Harriers to walk the route of the Burnsall 10 mile race to raise awareness of Parkinson’s. Graham’s course record of 49:19, set in 1977, remained unbeaten. In Graham’s words it was “a fantastic day, probably one of the best I’ve had with Holmfirth Harriers”. 

Finally, the club is very grateful to Graham for his significant contribution to the Centenary book, produced as part of the club’s celebrations in 2007.


The club has lost one of its greats.  He will be hugely missed and our thoughts are with Christine and the family.

The funeral will be held Thursday 4th July, 11am at Grenoside North Chapel followed by a wake at Boshaw Trout (Penistone Road, HD9 2JG) from 1pm. Christine has asked that you wear colourful clothing to celebrate the life of a brilliant man and requests no black be worn. Please pass around this message to those who knew him.

The cortège for Graham’s funeral on Thursday 4th will leave Holmfirth at 10 o’clock and drive down to Honley, turning right at the traffic lights and right at the junction onto New Mill Road. They should pass Neiley Pavilion around 10:15.


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