Dave Blackman 1966-2021

A Tribute to a Friend

Many of you will have heard of Dave’s sad and sudden passing on October 15th. His funeral is planned for  Tuesday 16th November at Test Valley Crematorium, 1pm.

More details can be found here: https://davidblackman.muchloved.com

I can’t remember exactly when I first met Dave, but it was probably nearly 20 years ago when we trained together in Tony Fern’s group. What I do know is that life will be very different without him.

If you knew Dave, he was your friend. It was that simple. He was bursting with enthusiasm, energy and passion for whatever he did and he passed that on to everyone he met.

“A true gentleman with kindness and compassion”

“Highly principled, honest, trustworthy, and integrity in spades”

“I don’t know a single person who didn’t like him or had a bad word to say about him”

“Always interested in others achievements”

These are just some of the comments I have heard from his friends at Southampton AC.

In a nutshell, Dave was just a lovely person.

When Dave joined Southampton he fancied himself over the longer distances; cross country, road races and marathons, but his coach Tony convinced him that he was really a speedy middle distance runner and Dave set about retraining with gusto.
In 2015 he won his first Masters National title at 800m and represented Great Britain Masters in the World Championships in Lyon, France.
In 2017 he was National champion again both indoors and outdoors.

But for Dave athletics was so much more than just running. He was part of the fabric of our club and the local running family. Dave turned his organisational skills to great use. Serving on the SAC committee, he took on the challenging role of membership secretary and moved the entire system on-line for the first time. For many years he was a key member of the Eastleigh 10k leadership team. He was assistant team manager of our Vets team and an ardent support of the Parkrun movement.

Someone reminded me of when Dave helped out our vets team in Aldershot last year. It was tipping down with rain and we were short in the 2k Walk (never the most glamorous of races!). Dave zoomed out grinning with enthusiasm and just got the job done. 

Dave was one of life’s ‘Givers’. Whatever he could do to help he would. During my darkest times Dave was always there for me, just to listen, time after time.

I remember a discussion with Dave about passion. He told me you must never say:
“I’m passionate about…”
“If you are passionate about something then it will be flippin’ obvious to everyone you talk to that you are!”

Dave absolutely lived by that. Whether it was talking about his daughter’s Netball, his son’s new job or his trips to the Isle of Wight with Jo, Dave was always bursting with a passion, energy and enthusiasm that was contagious.

At the end of every training session Dave would go around the group saying how much he’d enjoyed it and then thanking them for making him work so hard.

Dave, it was great to know you, you made us all better. We will all miss you.

Thank you!