Neil Donachie

It is with great sadness that we have to announce the passing of EAC and Scottish Athletics stalwart Neil Donachie

Neil and Marion

 Neil Donachie (Rover Scouts, Braidburn AAC, Edinburgh AC)

880y:  1:54.2   1963;   One Mile:  4:25.4   1959.

Neil had a long and distinguished career in Scottish athletics as a runner, then as an official and administrator.   He started out as a member of the Edinburgh Rovers and Scouts club as a Youth in 1949/50.   The Rovers and Scouts became Braidburn AC in 1952/53 and then in the early 1960’s Edinburgh AC was formed.

Neil remained a member through both amalgamations and changes of name.   A good cross-country and road runner who turned out in the Edinburgh to Glasgow relays as well as National championships,

Neil was principally a track runner who specialised in the half mile distance.   He ran all over Scotland in scratch as well as handicap races – at Murrayfield for the prestigious Edinburgh Highland Games, at Bridge of Allan for the historic Strathallan Gathering and all sorts of meetings.   He ran well in championships and was third in the SAAA 880 yards championship in 1959.   In that year he was ranked sixth in the country with 1:54.6 which was one place behind Graham Everett and one in front of Bruce Tulloh.   Both well known names and so it was until 1963 when he was ninth equal with Dick Hodelet, another famous name) on 1:54.2 which was to be his personal best for the distance.

After his running career, Neil’s love of the sport led him into administration and officiating.   He worked at club level, at District and at National levels as both administrator and official with a serious appetite for work.

Neil was a past Chairman of the Scottish Athletics League and a past president of the SAAA. He was a popular and well respected official and, for the past few years, a vital part of the team organising Scottish Athletics League matches. and had officiated all over the UK.

Neil will be greatly missed by all at Edinburgh AC where he served on the Club Executive Committee for many years and regularly took on officiating duties and team management on British League fixtures and put back as much if not more into athletics as he’d got out.

Neil was awarded Life member of the National Athletics League for his meritorious  service to the British League

(from an article on Scottish Distance Running History  with thanks to Brian McCauslan Author)

Our sincere condolences to Marion and family.

Funeral details to follow.

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