Memorial plaque unveiled in Brownhills for popular figure in community

A plaque has been unveiled at Brownhills Memorial Hall to pay tribute to Geoffrey Harrington, a man adored in his community.

Mayor of Walsall Rose Martin, attended the unveiling of a plaque at Brownhills Memorial Hall, to honour Geoffrey Harrington. Pictured next to the mayor is Margaret Powell, Geoffrey's daughter, and guests..
Mayor of Walsall Rose Martin, attended the unveiling of a plaque at Brownhills Memorial Hall, to honour Geoffrey Harrington. Pictured next to the mayor is Margaret Powell, Geoffrey's daughter, and guests..

The plaque unveiling ceremony was attended by the Mayor of Walsall, Rose Martin, Mr Harrington's daughter Margaret Powell, and many other residents in the community, who all came together to pay tribute to Geoffrey, who died one year ago, aged 99 and just weeks before he would have turned 100.

Mr Harrington achieved many sporting achievements in his life, including a world record in 1961 for running 130 yards in 11.85 seconds.

Geoffrey Harrington from Brownhills wins the semifinal of the Powderhall 130 yard professional sprint at Edinburgh on 1st January, 1951, setting a new world record of 11.85 seconds

He then went on to work in the snooker industry as a referee and officiated top tournaments across the UK including the BCE Grand Masters Snooker Championship and the BCE English Snooker final.

Speaking about her father, Margaret said: "The plaque is in memory of my father who died last year just three weeks before his 100th birthday.

The plaque at Brownhills Memorial Hall

"At the time, I was organising his 100th birthday party but that then changed and instead I was sadly planning his funeral, so it was nice to be able to celebrate his life a year on, with many of his friends that he met at the Brownhills Memorial Hall.

"He was a runner in his life and even had coverage in the Express & Star back in the day. He then became a referee in snooker where he officiated at many tournaments.

Geoffrey Harrington working as snooker referee. Pictured with Dennis Taylor.
Geoffrey Harrington working as snooker referee. Pictured with Steve Davis.

"Later in life he became chairman of short bowls at the Brownhills Memorial Hall and started a weekly event on Tuesdays that still runs today.

"Earlier in his life he was sent to India during World War Two, and even played for a football team whilst there and won a cup."

Geoffrey Harrington

Geoffrey was friends with legendary Liverpool manager Bill Shankly - his daughter said they struck up a friendship as her father was training in Carlisle for his 130-yard running, and Bill was manager of Carlisle Football Club and they came across each other and became friends.

Margaret added: "Bill was great friends with my dad and later on in life he even invited him to Anfield to watch a match in his box."

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