Vera Duerdin

It is with great sadness that the English Cross Country Association (ECCA) has been informed of the death of the Association’s National Cross Country Relays Championship Secretary and Past President Vera Duerdin.

Vera’s funeral will be at Bury Parish Church on Friday 15th February at 2.00 pm.

Vera Duerdin played a significant role in the organisation of Women’s Athletics in England for many a decade and was a member of Bury & Radcliffe AC now Bury AC since she joined the Club in the early 1950’s as an athlete. Club wise Vera became Ladies Section Secretary, a post she held for a long time and was involved in the Club’s activities through to recent times.

Along with her husband, Lawson who died in 2006, Vera became involved in organising athletics at a high level and was Secretary of the Women’s Cross Country & Road Running Association until its amalgamation with the English Cross Country Union in 1992 when the ECCA was formed.

She was involved in organising many Women’s National Championships for both Cross Country and Road Running. At the same time, Vera was Team Manager for the England Teams that went to the World Cross Country Championships and was held in high regard around the World, especially in Japan where Vera Team Managed England and Great Britain Teams at the Ekiden Relays. Vera continued to be Team Manager of the Great Britain Senior Women’s Cross Country Team until the late 90’s and helped many a newcomer to the Women’s Team find their feet.

Domestically Vera was on the Committee of Lancashire WAA which later became Greater Manchester WAAA and then as it is now Greater Manchester AA. Similarly she was involved with the North of England through to its current status of Northern Athletics. Although an organiser of all forms of athletics, Cross Country was high on her list of interests in our sport and that was recognised when Vera became ECCA President in 1994 the first of four women to have been President since 1992.

Over the past 6 months Vera bravely contended with deteriorating health and was still in post as Relay Championship Secretary when she died.

Vera Duerdin was a stalwart of Athletics who devoted countless hours to the sport and she will be missed greatly.