09:00AM, Friday 14 October 2016
Bernard Dembo, second right, with Dave Dando, Simon Gilbey and Jesse Grey at Braywick Park in 2008.
Tributes have been paid to a veteran runner who was also one of the driving forces behind the renovation of sports facilities at Braywick Park.
Bernard Dembo, 94, was a member of Maidenhead Athletic Club (MAA) for about 30 years.
He took up running and joined the group when he was in his 50s after suffering a heart attack.
As well as going on to run numerous marathons, including completing the London Marathon three times, he also became the club’s secretary in the late 1980s, a position he held for about 15 years.
According to Peter Ison, a former chairman, he was a great help to people new to running, producing a booklet which gave tips on diet, clothing and equipment, but also tips and advice for staying safe while out and about.
And he was also one of the first to realise the need to upgrade sporting facilities at Braywick Park, getting the ball rolling on the scheme for what would become the new sport pavilion at the site.
This opened in August 2008, where Mr Dembo joined the then Royal Borough cabinet member for leisure and culture, Cllr Jesse Grey (Con, Datchet), to cut the first sod on the
MAA contributed £100,000 to the £800,000 scheme, which included new changing rooms for the teams using the grass and artificial pitches at the sports ground, changing rooms for referees and public toilets.
Remembering the club stalwart, Mr Ison said: “He was a regular racer well into his 70s, racing competitively as well, and even into his 80s he was still running and keeping active.
“I will remember him as very determined and very passionate. I always had a lot of respect for him and his opinions because when he argued for something it was because it was for something he really believed in.”
Mr Dembo died on September 7 and is survived by his children John, Kathy, Geoff and Philip. His funeral took place on September 26.
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