Published: 08:00, 07 August 2020
| Updated: 09:06, 07 August 2020
Invicta East Kent Athletic Club has paid tribute to their inspirational coach Tony Piersall, who recently died.
Long-standing coach Piersall passed away on Sunday, July 26 and the club have sent their deepest condolences to all of his family.
The club said: “Tony was passionate about athletics and inspirational to those he coached, we at Invicta East Kent will miss him very much.
“Tony was an enthusiastic and dedicated Invicta coach having coached many athletes over the years to different levels. Tony regularly travelled to Lee Valley for workshops, training and competitions with his athletes on Saturdays.”
As a runner, Tony himself trained at Canterbury High School and coached multi-events, which he had done since the mid-1990s when the club was based at the university cinder track.
As a runner his membership goes back to the 1980s. He liked long road races and ran the London Marathon in 2012 as well as the New York marathon in 2006 when was chuffed to break five hours.
His last ever 10 mile race was as a 74-year-old on home turf at Canterbury in January 2019 on the same course for his best 10 mile in 2012.
Many of Tony’s athletes and friends at Invicta paid their condolences on social media, including Emily Higham, who said: “Tony was my very first athletics coach and was such an inspirational guy. He is the reason I feel in love with the sport and I will be forever grateful for that. He always used to drive us to workshops at Lee Valley and back on Saturdays.”
Lauren Macey added: “Tony will be missed by us all at Invicta, he coached me for almost 12 years and got me to where I am today.”