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Alan Bertram

21 May 2013

Alan Bertram MBE, coach to both of the 2002 Commonwealth Games hammer gold medallists, has died aged 76.

Bertram was coach to Mick Jones, who won the 2002 Commonwealth title by over three metres with a throw of 72.55m, and Lorraine Shaw, who threw 66.83m to win gold at the same championships before adding bronze four years later in Melbourne.

The Northumberland-born coach has been involved in the event for over 50 years and adopted a proactive approach that saw him work with numerous hammer champions.

On top of his job as a Chief Inspector at the Metropolitan Police, Bertram established hammer schools in West London and in Scotland which continue to produce top throwers.

Bertram’s relentless enthusiasm for the hammer has ensured a positive legacy for the event and anybody who has met him will insist that he was more than just a coach.

GB & NI international Myra Perkins who Bertram coached commented:

"I learnt so much from Alan and am only one of the many who have been inspired by his infectious passion for the hammer. His dedication as coach, talent spotter and event organiser is unmatched in Britain and is a huge loss to the throwing community. For me, he was an incredible man who instilled in me a desire to succeed and the motivation to work hard for it. With a wicked sense of humour, he used to tease me mercilessly and that's what I’ll miss most." 

His funeral will take place at Melrose Parish Church in the Scottish Borders on Friday.