‘John’s love of people and running were infectious’

Sidmouth Running Club member John Perratt pictured at the Sid Vale Athletics meeting back in 2014. R

Sidmouth Running Club member John Perratt pictured at the Sid Vale Athletics meeting back in 2014. Ref shs 2693-21-14SH Picture by Simon Horn - Credit: Archant

Tributes have been paid to an ‘inspirational and modest’ founding member of Sidmouth Running Club - remembered as a family man whose attention to detail was admired by many.

John Perratt lost a 14-year battle with prostate cancer on October 30. His funeral took place last Thursday, November 12.

The 78-year-old was treasurer at the running club and was often seen behind the scenes organising races across East Devon - including the 20-mile Exe to Axe run and the festival run, which took place for more than a decade.

John actively raised money for prostate cancer charities by taking part in cycle rides and running events.

His best friend and running partner, Bill Valentine, said that members of the club gathered by John’s favourite bench on Mutters Moor to say farewell on Wednesday, November 4.

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Bill said: “He was supportive, he was a great and lovely friend. When I was younger I had to fill out an application form and one of the things on the application was about attention to detail. I did not understand what that meant until I met John. It was all about detail. He knew details about people. He lived for details and that is why his events were always a success.”

John grew up in Portsmouth and enjoyed playing rugby. He was employed by the Federal Government of Rhodesia and Nyasaland and lived in Zimbabwe for more than 40 years.

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Shortly after turning 50, John started running and quickly took to competing in a series of triathlons before completing the 56-mile Comrades marathon.

After moving to Sidmouth in 2001 with his wife Brenda, he joined Exmouth Harriers before joining the Sidmouth Running Club committee when it was set up in 2003. In 2007, John scooped a series of medals in a number of races on the local and international circuit.

Former running club chairman John Keast said: “We know that John has left a massive void, but he has left us Sidmouth Running Club, the friendly club that loves running. His love of people and his love of running were truly infectious. I know that many of the people out running in the Sidmouth area are out enjoying their running because of John.”

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