It is with great regret that we have to announce the deaths of two stalwarts of Sussex athleties.
International race walker Bryan Hawkins was based in Middlesex before moving to Sussex in the late fifties. He already had a stream of Middlesex walking titles, several Southern and an Inter-county crown as well as placing fifth in the European 10,000m track walking title at Berne in 1954.
Once established as a Sussex walker with the then Brighton Athletic Club, he added many Sussex titles including the 2-mile track walking championship record. After a brief period when he tried running but confessed to being 'rubbish', he returned to race walking until he retired from the sport in his sixties. During his veteran years he won the European M55 title and also set a World M60 5000m record.
Apart from his race walking Hawkins led a varied life, working in the Brighton Borough’s Surveyors Department for 30-years. However, he had also been a comedian at the Windmill Theatre and on the late “Tuesday at the Dome” weekly shows, he wrote scripts for Tommy Cooper and other well-known comedians, was a cartoonist on many papers and children’s comics, a dance band drummer and local artist. Hawkins was 89.
Mark Burgess a former Hastings athlete who won Sussex titles at pole vault and decathlon has died at the age of 63. In his time Mark also managed the Hastings Southern League team for several years and was a valuable official in recent years particularly at Eastbourne and Hastings.
Sussex AA sends sincere condolences to the families and friends of Bryan Hawkins and Mark Burgess.