RIP Daryl McWhirter (09/03/2018)

The club were saddened to learn, via Ron Bentley, of the recent passing of Daryl McWhirter or "Mac" as he was often known around the club. He died on 8th March 2018 after a long period of ill health.

Daryl was born in September 1930 in the Black Country. He was originally a member of Smethwick Harriers & Halesowen C & A C before joining up with Tipton Harriers.

Our first record of him is running for Smethwick in 1963 in the Wordsley 15, a local mid week race. He joined Tipton however in February 1974 and was from then on was one of the very regular faces at training and racing.

He was a close friend of Ron Bentley and as such he did a wide range of events from 1500m on the track through to the Woodford To Southend ultra distance race. In between he did the likes of the Two Bridges Race, the Vax Marathon, AAA's Marathon, 1 Hour Track Races. He trained and raced all around the Midland area and particularly enjoyed events like the Milford 21 on Cannock Chase.

Ron, Bert Harbach and Daryl were the all the same age and, in 1980, celebrated their 50th Birthdays with a gathering at the club. It was reported to have been a great event. The Black Country Bugle reported on the night as follows:

"...happy, smiling faces promised a "great night" and, by all accounts, nobody complained – except one bartender who reckons he was "run off his feet" and completed the marathon distance before the party broke up!"

Daryl will also possibly be remembered along with one of his faithful four legged friends, his pet dog Dougal, an afgan hound by all accounts. They were often seen at the road relays in the park at Sutton Coldfield where Dougal would join in the fun by wearing a Tipton vest. Indeed Dougal was one of the fittest dogs around as he joined Daryl on his morning training runs around Warley Woods.

Daryl was one of the founding fathers of the Midland Veterans Athletic Club in the early 1970's and was a keen supporter of that pioneering branch of athletics often placing in the top 10 of his age group in championship races. He supported many of their events right the way through his career. He represented Staffordshire as a Veteran in Inter County competition on the roads.

He lived for the majority of his Tipton club years in the Harborne area of Birmingham but came down the club to train. Indeed many from the club who lived in that side of Birmingham but were unable to drive were grateful to Daryl for his many lifts back home after training. He worked in the oil and gas industry. One of the club's great characters is gone.

Our thoughts go to his family and friends.