We received the sad news yesterday that one of our life members, John Melvin had passed away after a short illness at the age of 77 years.
Like many parents, John followed his daughter Hazel, who was an outstanding high jumper into the sport in the 1980’s. He became a successful coach with City of Glasgow AC, helping many of his high jumpers to international selection and success at national championships and it was for this that he received his life membership of the club. Perhaps his greatest success as a coach was in guiding Ray Bobrownicki to his selection for the Glasgow Commonwealth Games in 2014, the year he achieved a personal best and a VP-Glasgow club record of 2.28m in a Scottish Athletics League match at Grangemouth. That same year, John was rewarded for his efforts by receiving the Performance Coach of the Year award at the Scottish Athletics Awards Night at Hampden Park.
Although he enjoyed great success as a coach, John was also a highly regarded official, serving the sport for many years as a level 2 field official. John would regularly volunteer to fulfil his commitment in the high jump where he could keep an eye on the progress of his athletes.
He may have been known to a wider group as the Team Manager of the Team Glasgow composite team which was successful in providing competition for U17 and U20 athletes in the upper tier of the Youth Development League. Many of those athletes have spoken very highly of John, citing his enthusiasm and support over many years.
John and his wife Evelyn also served on the committee of the Glasgow Athletics Association for many years. Evelyn as treasurer of both the GAA and Glasgow City AC.
As you would expect, many friends from within the sport expressed their sorrow on social media.
Ray Bobrownicki posted ‘Beyond saddened to share news of the passing of my coach and dear friend John Melvin. Many in Scotland will have been impacted by or have benefited from John’s efforts, skills, and experience over the years. I will miss him greatly and probably won’t have dry eyes for a while.’
Mark Munro, chief executive of scottishathletics posted ‘This is a real shock to the sport, John contributed so much to athletics in Scotland and beyond. A coach, administrator, team manager, official, facility guru he contributed significantly to Glasgow Athletics since it started. His passing is a huge loss and our condolences are today very much with his family and friends.’
Track and Field Commission Convenor Leslie Roy said: ‘John was a man who did so much to help athletes of all ages. ‘He put his heart and soul into doing everything he could for athletes. John had many roles and was a Coach, Official, Team Manager, Event Organiser. He will be sadly missed.’
High jump coach Ken Allan said: ‘Shocked and saddened to hear this news yesterday, ‘John’s contribution to our sport spanned decades and every conceivable area, from Coaching to Team Management to Officiating to Facility creation. He will be sorely missed. Condolences to all who knew him.’
Diane Ramsay said ‘John is a tremendous loss to athletics in Glasgow and Scotland. As team manager of Team Glasgow, he did an incredible job of encouraging/supporting junior athletes trying to make the difficult transition to senior. Thanks John for everything you did for us all!
Everyone at Victoria Park City of Glasgow is shocked and saddened by the news, his passing is a terrible loss to the sport and we send our condolences to John’s wife Evelyn, and their children Ewan and Hazel.