18 April 1957 – 11 March 2023
We are saddened to announce the untimely death of Kevin Johns aged 65 years, following a heart attack near his home in Netherton. Kevin became a member of Holmfirth Harriers in September 1993, joining his two sons Edward and Gareth who had competed in the ‘Sands’ races for junior schools and began to compete in all the Clubs junior races.
In July 1994, Kevin became one of ten Holmfirth coaches congratulated by National Coach and former Olympian, Brad McStravick, for getting involved in the formalised coaching structure. Kevin specialised in Throws and could usually be seen working with junior members teaching the Discus, Shot, Javelin and Hammer. Eventually, he coached some senior members who wanted to compete in the various throws’ events at the Northern Track & Field League and County Championships.
He became involved in timekeeping at the Club’s first McDonald’s Young Athletes League meeting in 1994, where the Club had to provide officials. After several meetings Kevin volunteered to take the practical test, which he passed with flying colours and was appointed Grade 4 in August 1994. He went on to pass the preliminary written examination in March 1995, upgraded to Grade 3 in 1996 and Grade 2 in 1998. Before he could be considered for Grade 1, he had to achieve 75% in an advanced written paper and have at least three years’ experience at Grade 2. Kevin achieved the required mark in March 2005 and was upgraded to Grade 1 in January 2006.
The system of grading subsequently changed and brought into line with the coaching system. He was then given the top grade, Level 5 and was selected for the International Officials Group (IOG) in January 2007, where at the time there was an elite group of thirty-four timekeepers in the UK.
Kevin officiated in his first Yorkshire Track & Field Championships in May 1995 and has been appointed Chief Timekeeper on several occasions. Likewise, he officiated at the County Cross Country Championships in December 1997 and again has been Chief Timekeeper many times. Kevin has officiated at County, Regional and National events for Cross Country, Road Races, Track & Field meetings and officiated at the London 2012 Olympics, and more recently was Chief Timekeeper at the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games, the 2022 English Schools Track & Field Championships and the Under 20 Track & Field Championships. Kevin was ever-present at various Club promotions, the most recent was the Ian Roberts Memorial Fell Race at Marsden, a few days before his death.
The Club has lost a loyal member, a good friend to many and it is hard to think we shall no longer see his kind, friendly face at the finish line, quietly recording runners’ times. He will also be missed by the wider athletics community and the Scouts where he was Group Scout Leader, 2nd Holme Valley (Netherton) and previously Holme Valley Scouts Commissioner.
Our thoughts are with his wife Susan, Sons, Edward and Gareth, their partners Sarah and Lindsay and grandchildren, Oliver, and Amelia