Felixstowe: Mourners watch torch run in tribute to Olympic hero Stan Cox

AS the Olympic torch was held aloft through the streets of Felixstowe, one of the town’s heroes of the Games was laid to rest. Former long-distance runner Stan Cox, 93, died last week just days before he could realise his dream of seeing the torchbearers run through the resort.

His funeral was held yesterday at Seven Hills Crematorium, Nacton, with the service having an Olympic theme as a tribute to Stan’s love of athletics and his own part in the world’s greatest sporting event, having competed at the 1948 London Olympics and the 1952 Helsinki games.

Stan – once one of the two top marathon runners in the world – was placed in his coffin wearing his Olympic tie and blazer.

Flowers in the shape of the five Olympics rings symbol were a special tribute, and as the coffin was brought into the chapel, the Chariots of Fire theme music was played.

The Olympic Anthem was also featured during the service.

Stan’s grandson Matt Broekstra said: “It was a lovely service and it was nice to see so many people there.

“Afterwards we all went to see the Olympic torch run through Felixstowe – it seemed a fitting thing to do to honour granddad.

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“He couldn’t be there, but we were there for him.”

Family and friends attending the crematorium chapel heard tributes paid to Stan, recalling his sporting career – his dedication to training, his many triumphs, taking part in international meetings as well as the Olympics and Commonwealth Games.

He retired to Felixstowe with his wife Audrey in 1979, having loved the town from when he was stationed at RAF Felixstowe. He leaves two daughters.

He was a well-known figure around the town, especially for his work as a volunteer leader for several years for the town’s Stepping Out in Suffolk health walks team, inspiring and encouraging others to exercise and keep fit for their health’s sake.

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