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Steve Hollingdale

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Last updated 24 March 2012

Steve Hollingdale, President for 2012/13

Born 2 August 1950 in Crystal Palace, South London, he moved to Forest Hill with his parents and older sister Stella, when he started school and met VP Rob Brown on his first day at infant schools. They have been good friends and running rivals ever since, although Rob definitely has the edge these days. He attended Colfes Grammar in Lee and got involved in cross country more through a lack of skills in rugby, football or cricket but did well, representing the school and borough in Greenwich Park, Beckenham Palace Park and Parliament Hill Fields under another Heathen, Roger Morriss, his school cross country captain.

He became a Chartered Accountant and began indulging his love of travel working in Kenya for a year auditing tea and coffee estates but avoiding assignments in Idi Amin’s Uganda. Then 1978 he joined Crown Agents where he has worked for the last 33 years. During that time he has travelled extensively to the company’s offices and projects in exotic places such as Eritrea, Yemen, the Falkland Islands and Brunei. Since 2000 he has worked in the Financial Services part of the business and is currently Managing Director of the Bank – unplanned in his year of Presidency.

In 1978 he met Margaret through a mutual friend and they married in November 1979, inconveniently for best man Rob Brown as Arsenal were at home to Spurs that day. Home was initially in Orpington before moving to their current house in Bickley some 27 years ago. They have 4 children 3 of them have, along with Margaret, been involved in the club some way. Margaret has helped at club dinners, son Graham was a junior member and other son, Henry, is a current member. Megan has done service behind the bar so that only leaves Daisy still to be sucked in.

Running some how got side-tracked after leaving school in favour of modest to mediocre efforts at tennis, badminton and squash. He can also play petanque and croquet properly. Then he was asked to join a team at work to run the Sutton half marathon which he did in 97 minutes as he approached his 40th birthday. Shortly afterwards running with Rob on Hayes Common one Sunday morning he came across a group of Heathens including Peter Long which led to he and Rob joining the club in 1990. 4 marathons with a pb of 3hrs 4 and numerous halfs and mob matches followed. He recalls a few odd other races including a mile on the Goodwin Sands – travelling there and back by hovercraft, hashs in Barbados and Accra and a village race in Spain where he won a big cup for coming second.

His accounting background led to him becoming Club Treasurer for a copy of years and is currently Chair of Finance. He became a VP in 2006 and, with Rob, has organised the regular club quiz over the years.

What are his visions for his presidency year?

‘Nothing too radical. To get around and see the parts of the club I haven’t had much involvement with – track and field at most levels including hopefully a few finals. There are some challenges. We are a club run by volunteers but unfortunately 80% of the work is done by 20% of the members. We all lead busy lives (apart from my dog) and there is something uncomfortable about commitment for most of us. We have to break down that barrier and get a few more to ‘Grab a tea towel’ – don’t wait to be asked – the club doesn’t run itself. There is something big happening in the world of sport this summer – let’s make it here at our club.’

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