Len Cullen 1938 – 2011
It was with great shock that I learnt of the death of a fellow Birchfield Harrier, Len Cullen, aged 73 years on Wednesday, 11th January. He had undergone a successful heart valve replacement/repair the week before and was recovering extremely well and was due out of hospital. However, he suffered a blood clot which caused a fatal heart attack.
Len joined Birchfield in the 50’s and as a ‘jobbing’ athlete travelled the country entering handicap events and road races and always donned the ‘stag’ vest. Len encouraged me to run in my very first 10 mile road race, the Stevenage 10, hiring a car and taking us down to win the ‘pots’. In fact I ran my first 10 miles round the parks in Perry Barr with Len. He also encouraged the youngsters to train correctly and helped set up the running ‘schools’ a forerunner of coaching groups. He was a social animal, immersing himself into the social life of the Club and organising many a social gathering and when the Club moved into the new Alexander Stadium he instigated a deal with Ansells setting up the well-used Bar. He could always be seen in Sutton Park supporting the ‘stags’ vigorously in their efforts. Latterly he qualified as a sports therapist treating many an athlete for their injuries.
I shall always remember Len with affection.
Our condolences go to his wife, Elaine and the family.
The funeral will take place on the 27th January 2012 at Lodge Hill Crematorium, Weoley Park Road, Birmingham B29 5AA at 12 noon.
Donations to the MS Society.