A Keswick athlete who achieved much in a sporting career which saw him excel at football, cricket and athletics has died aged 84.
Dennis Hayes was a respected figure in the town and will be remembered for his sporting exploits and the way he passed on his knowledge to youngsters.
Threlkeld-born, he was perhaps best known locally as a runner and was often seen running around town in his light and distinctive fleet-footed style.
Having taken up the sport in his late 40s, Dennis ran for England five times in international cross country races at MV60 and MV65 level.
Dennis had done some running with the Royal Ordnance Corps but later took up the sport seriously, competing in 10k, 10-mile, half marathon and cross country events across the UK with Keswick AC.
In 1988, aged 51, he clocked a very respectable two hours 49 minutes for the London Marathon.
He was a postman for 25 years until he retired aged 64, with rounds in Keswick, Bassenthwaite and Borrowdale.
His son Chris said: “He would come home at lunch time, have something to eat and a bit of a nap and then go out on a run for an hour.”
As a young man, Dennis played midfield for Braithwaite, Threlkeld and Keswick.
Chris said Threlkeld once got to a cup final at Penrith and five buses packed with villagers went to watch.
He also managed and coached junior and senior teams, with some proteges representing the Keswick team which went on to win the Westmorland League.
Dennis was also captain of Keswick Cricket Club for several seasons and led them to the Burton Cup final in the 1970s. Dennis was a batsman and he coached juniors with John Bryson.
Dennis was educated at Threlkeld village school and Brigham School, Keswick, which he left aged 14. He was married to Margaret, who he met while working at Ferguson’s Printers.
They have two children, Chris, 58, and Jackie, 55, and two grandchildren, William and Hannah.
“He was a quiet fella but very respectful. He was an old fashioned and decent sort of bloke,” said Chris.
Dennis died on April 5 after a short illness.
His funeral service was at St John’s Church, Keswick, on April 14. A minute’s silence was observed for Dennis before Keswick Cricket Club’s game at Fitz Park.