Tributes are paid to top coach and track champ

Eddie Sinclair, one of Scotland’s most successful athletics coaches in the 1970s and 80s, has died.

He passed away last week after a lengthy illness. He was 78.

Kirkintilloch born and bred, Eddie was a successful athlete in his own right and won the Scottish three-mile title before going on to coach young athletes at Springburn Harriers.

He produced numerous national age group track and cross country champions, making Springburn one of the most respected clubs in the country.

He also took the club to the much larger stage of the English cross-country championships, resulting in a youths team silver.

Eddie’s name was linked most with Lenzie’s Graham Williamson whom he coached from the youngster’s early teens.

Under Eddie’s dedicated guidance, Graham became European junior and World Student Games 1500m champion and remains Scotland’s fastest miler with a time of 3mins 50secs.

Graham also set UK and European age group records, often showing supremacy over Steve Cram who went on to claim world championship 1500m gold and the world mile record.

The young Lenzie man was also a regular in top races featuring Olympic champions Seb Coe and Steve Ovett and other great middle distance runners, gaining respect for a grit and fighting spirit nurtured by Eddie Sinclair.

Kirkintilloch’s Johnny Buntain, now 61, recalled his Springburn Harriers successes under Eddie’s guidance.

He said: “It was great to be part of the club’s many individual and team achievements overseen by Eddie and the late Jack Crawford.

“Nobody could fire up a young athlete like Eddie. A fantastic motivator, he made you believe anything was possible with hard work.

“Eddie roaring at you in races was worth valuable seconds.”

Fellow clubmate, Graham Crawford, 58, from Torrance, agreed.

He explained: “No matter how tired you thought you were in races, you always found more as a result of Eddie’s passionate encouragement.”

Eddie was a postman for many years and then worked with the civil service at Low Moss, Bishopbriggs before 
he and his wife, Evelyn, 
emigrated to Canada. They 
returned to Scotland some years ago.

Eddie is survived by sons Gordon and Kenneth.

His funeral will take place at St Mary’s Church, Kirkintilloch, on Friday (September 4) at 10.45am.