My Life in Athletics

My Life in Athletics

by Mel Watman


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Mel Watman got hooked on athletics when, aged 12, he attended the 1950 AAA Championships at the White City Stadium with a school party. His first heroes were McDonald Bailey, Arthur Wint and Roger Bannister. Later that year he discovered the magazine “Athletics Weekly” which would go on to play such an important role in his life. He was only 16 when “AW” published his first by-lined article and a few years later editor Jimmy Green put him in charge of compiling overseas news and results.

After three years of learning his trade as a journalist on a suburban newspaper and two years National Service in the RAF, he joined the staff of “AW” in 1961 as assistant editor, succeeding Jimmy Green as editor in 1968. He left the magazine in 1988 to co-edit “Athletics Today” and since 1993 he and Peter Matthews have co-edited and published the newsletter “Athletics International”.

He has written numerous books on athletics, including five editions of “The Encyclopaedia of Athletics”, “History of British Athletics”, “All-Time Greats of British Athletics” and the official histories of the Amateur Athletic Association (AAA) and Women’s AAA, as well as editing the IAAF’s monumental centenary book. He has attended nine Olympic Games, starting with Rome in 1960, and reported in detailed event by event form on every Games between then and 2016.

In this book, in effect a personalised history of UK and world athletics from the 1950s right through to 2017, numerous extracts from his published work at the time will, hopefully, convey the excitement and admiration created by the leading athletes of the day.

Mel is a founder member of the National Union of Track Statisticians (NUTS) and the British Athletics Writers’ Association, of which he is honorary president. In 2013 he was inducted into the England Athletics Hall of Fame.

An athlete of very modest standard, he completed the New York Marathon in 1980 and the inaugural London Marathon in 1981. He and his wife Pat live in the North West London suburb of Stanmore.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781907953699
Publisher: Melvyn Watman
Publication date: 10/30/2017
Pages: 514
Product dimensions: 6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x 1.15(d)

Table of Contents

Introduction; War & Early Schooldays (1938-1950); Hackney Downs & White City (1950-1954) Learning My Trade (1954-1957); NUTS & The Big Apple (1958-1959); RAF & My First Olympics (1959-1961);

The Formative ‘AW’ Years (1961-1963); Greyhounds & Tokyo Olympics (1964); Ron Clarke: The Greatest (1965-1966); My Dream Job: ‘AW’ Editor (1967-1968).

Sad Start To The Seventies (1969-1971) ; Munich & Marriage (1972-1973); Foster & Stewart The Stars (1974-1975) ,;A Family In Mourning (1976-1977).

Abrahams, Coe & Ovett (1978-1979); Marathon Dream Comes True (1980); Coe-Ovett Record Frenzy (1981); Around The World In 28 Days (1982); World Championships Are A Hit (1983).

Olympics In La La Land (1984) ; Steve Cram’s Record Spree (1985); “Short Squat” Daley The Tops (1986).

The Demise of ‘AW’ (1987); Yes, There Was Life After ‘AW’ (1988); ‘AT’ v ‘AW’: Let Battle Commence (1989); Man With The Golden Arm (1990) .

The Greatest Duel Of Them All (1991); American Trials & Tribulations (1992); Enter ‘Athletics International’ (1993); Thank You, Harefield (1994); Phenomenal Jonathan Edwards (1995); Georgia On My Mind (1996); Hitting The Jackpot (1997); Silver Wedding Celebrations (1998) .

Athletes Of The Century (1999) ; Rise & Fall Of Marion Jones (2000); The Horror Of Nine-Eleven (2001); It’s Paula In The Long Run (2002); The Greatest Women’s Record? (2003); The Ideal Holmes Exhibition (2004); Track Nuts’ Heaven (2005); A Stroll Down Memory Lane (2006)

A Bolt From The Blue (2007); “Simply The Best” (2008); A Legend In The Making (2009); Mo At The Double (2010); The Year Of The Book (2011).

An Olympics To Die For (2012) ; A Toast To Absent Friends (2013); It’s A Hard Life! (2014); The Best And Worst Of Times (2015); Expulsion Of Russian Cheats (2016), Still Hooked At 79 (2017).

World All-Time Rankings; UK All-Time Rankings;

World Record Progression (1950/2017)

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