The Late Cyril Leigh - Funeral details
Cyril Leigh (L) with former World marathon record holder Steve Jones at the 100th Welsh track & field championships in 2017. Both won Welsh cross country and marathon titles.
Update: Funeral to be held on Friday 19th at 3:30 p.m. Please see a link to the funeral notice below. The details of the live stream are at the bottom of the obituary section.
Cyril Leigh, a member of the Welsh team at the 1970 Edinburgh Commonwealth Games has died aged 84. He had been in poor health for the last couple of years but was well enough to be present at the 100th Welsh track and field championships in 2017, attending with his wife Hilda and son Mike who drove him from his home in Wigan.
Carmarthen’s Hedydd Davies, his room-mate in those Edinburgh Games said: “Cyril was a great club man and competitor, and had to return home from Edinburgh for a week following the death of his father. In the Edinburgh marathon, we supported each other, and he had a superb run. He would always start slowly in his marathons and move through the field. When he caught me at 17 miles, he helped me for a few miles before he moved on to record a personal best time of 2:19:53. Hedydd, four times the Welsh marathon titleholder continued: “He was a great friend and a proud member of Wigan and Salford Harriers.”
Cyril won the 1967 Welsh marathon title from Lynn Hughes and Bryan Hutton and was third in the 1973 championship where he clocked 2:19:42. His best time of 2:18:08, which would have ranked him in the top five in Wales almost half a century later, was set in the 1972 Maxol race in Manchester – then the UK’s number one event. Said Bernie Plain, who just missed a marathon medal in the 1974 European Championships; “I had great respect for Cyril and was proud to be a member of Welsh teams with him. He was a great club-man and highly regarded in marathon circles.”
He was also an accomplished cross country runner taking the 1967 Welsh title ahead of John Godding and the late Viv Blackwell on the same course - Barry Sports Centre – that hosted the international (now world) cross country championships a few weeks later. He also finished fourth in both the 1968 and 1969 championships.
Cyril captained the Welsh team at the 1969 international championships in Glasgow, representing his country on three occasions in this competition during the time the home countries were allowed to enter individual teams unlike today when it’s just a single British team.
Everyone in Welsh athletics sends their sympathies to his family.
Thank you to Clive Williams for this touching write up.