RADCLIFFE AC’s former president Terry Nortley has had his achievements remembered in stone alongside other famous names from the town.
His name is now on the Book of Stone at the East Lancs Crematorium, outlining his dedication to athletics, alongside such names as Olympian athlete Nellie Halstead and world snooker champion John Spencer.
Terry, who died in November 2011 aged 82, had been a force to be reckoned with as a runner himself in his younger days but was mostly remembered for his wonderful coaching skills that spanned more than 50 years. He had been an inspiration to many athletes. Despite his bad health in later life he could never be kept away from his beloved athletics and even in the coldest weather was always seen, immaculate in collar and tie, urging on Radcliffe competitors.
In 2008 runners from many clubs gathered for a special race to mark his lifetime of service to athletics, The Terry Nortley 5K Road Race, at Littleborough. He not only started off the event, he also presented the prizes and received two awards himself. He was presented with a plaque from a woman runner he had trained in the past to international level and received a trophy from the organisers marking his service. And more than 50 runners, past and present, said a big “thank-you”’ to him when he took his last coaching session at the Radcliffe AC’s Cams Lane Track.
When he became club president he still continued to enjoy his love of cross country, always travelling to events to cheer runners on. Although he suffered from cancer and often felt unwell he attended many club functions and committee meetings.
He joined in wholeheartedly with a running initiative at Close Park in Radcliffe, being run by Bury Council with the help of Radcliffe club members. A mile circuit had been marked out in the park and once a week club members helped beginners to jog round the course. It was named The Terry Nortley Mile.
In the early 1950s he was a force to be reckoned with on the running scene. He was a cross-country champion and also a ten-mile champ. He also ran the Ben Nevis and Snowdon races. He had joined the old Radcliffe Harriers in 1946 and was made a life-member in 1956. That same year the club amalgamated with Bury and he was secretary for three years. During that time Terry qualified as a club coach. He later coached at Bolton United Harriers AC for many years, where he was president for two years, and then carried on the good work at the reformed Radcliffe Athletic Club.
Those who knew him well will remember Terry’s great smile and sense of humor and he always had a good story to tell. He had been born in Bury and moved to Radcliffe in his teens. He worked in sales before his retirement and was proud of his service in 1947 with the Royal Army Service Corps in Palestine and Egypt. His other interests included Radcliffe Probus Club of which he had been president and press officer. Whatever he did he was always quietly supported by his wife Vera and the couple were familiar faces at many club events. The first time the club 10 mile race was held after his death it was named The Terry Nortley 10 Mile, and his trophy will help to ensure his memory lives on.