Rest In Peace, George Page

It is with great sadness that we heard over the weekend of the passing of George Page.

Our recent club members may not know much about this great stalwart of the club, he was one of our (re)founding fathers and without him our great club would not even exist, let alone embody the spirit it currently has.
He was our club treasurer for over 17 years, spanning 3 different decades, after taking up the role back in 1976.

We would like to pass on our heart felt condolences and thoughts to his family.

Below are some tributes and memories of George from some of his former clubmates.

“Such sad news to hear of the passing of another green and Gold legend.

George was one third of the great founding fathers of Wallsend Harriers along with Bill McGuirk and the late Doug Bramley.

I recall George was virtually an ever present on club nights and though I didn’t appreciate it at the time as a young kid, he was a hard-working and dedicated member of the newly formed club handling the subs etc.

Back in the day, when getting to race meetings was an adventure in itself, I well remember the walk up to the Sports Centre on a Saturday where George, with his orange car, and others, were ready to take us off to exotic places like Crook and Houghton le Spring!

As I grew older I got to realise and appreciate his dedication to the club and having joined the committee I got to see his passion for the club at first hand. Many is the time he would give me a lift home in his car following a committee meeting for a journey taking 5 minutes and then spend another 30 minutes complaining about how the committee meeting had gone and how he was going to resign – of course his longevity in the role as Treasurer shows that he never did as his love for the club always won through.

George was also a pretty decent runner in his day and he dealt with the transition between being a competitive runner to having to “slow down” very well – it is to his credit that having stopped actually running he still continued with such sterling work for the Green and Gold.

George will always have my thanks as I consider him a true legend of this great club – passionate and committed, dedicated and thorough and always with the club’s best interest at heart.

Time waits for no one and he had a good innings, (his legacy is still visible when I see the Green and Gold out on the streets), and I smile at the thought of George joining together with Gordon Smith, Doug Bramley, Margaret Watson and of course Terry – believe me that would be a lively committee meeting!!!”

Ian MacDougall

“George was a very hard working treasurer. Having the club at heart George was a sincere and genuine good man. He will be sorely missed a true gent and one of the 3 amigos, the stalwarts of Wallsend Harriers at my time of joining the club in 86.”

Martin Telford

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of “one of our own”………..former Club Treasurer, the legendary George Page.

George was a man of: integrity, loyalty and passion. He was one of the Founding Fathers of this great club.

In the mid- seventies, long before London 2012, Bill McGuirk set about inspiring a generation. With a vision to create a unique, running club, the former north-east half-mile champion needed reliable, intelligent, resourceful people. George Page embodied all of these virtues…….and many, many more.

George quickly took up the post of Club Treasurer; a position he would hold for over 17 years. With his infectious personality and natural flair for fundraising, George was able to cut his cloth (again and again) as McGuirk’s golden generation began their unremitting assault upon the north-east athletics scene.

In the days before post-workout sports hydration became de rigeur, George realised that, by undercutting Bolam’s (at the bottom of St Peter’s Road) he could swell the club’s coffers with the profits made from dubious Mars bars and rejuvenating cans of orangeade. Hungry young men drawn from all across the boundaries of Segedunum would collapse, together, on the Burnside field. They drank pop; wolfed confectionery; listened to the stories of Big Bren, the Elswick Express and Geronimo Jim; and learned a lot about life along the way.

As our athletes continued to raise the bar, we incurred ever-increasing transport bills. Regular club raffles; “encouraging” punters to cough up for over-priced refreshments at the prestigious Wallsend Road Races and the alpine Wallsend Harrier League; and a bourgeoning social scene: were all carefully engineered to bring home the (green and gold wrapped) bacon. George’s wife, Margaret (the First Lady of Wallsend Harriers) was an ever-present; a willing volunteer and Chief Cook and Bottle Washer at the Harriers’ ever-growing competitive and social fixtures.

And George loved his running: on the fells; over the country; and on the roads. There was often a story or two. I recall learning of George (in the late seventies) being involved in a serious road traffic accident. George and the classy George Atkinson were almost impaled upon a menacing tree, in an overturned car, prior to a big fell race. They managed to extricate themselves, made it to the start line and both ran blinders!!!

The Walkerville-based George can also lay claim to a pivotal role in the recruitment (or more correctly, conscription) of Terry O’Gara in signing for the Segedunum Striders. As TOG sauntered up the John Reid Road and overtook George (in the 1982 Great North Run) the wily Club Treasurer agreed a pact. If the scenario was to be repeated the following year, Terry would become a bona fide member of the Green and Golds. The scenario was repeated in 1983; and we are all the better for George’s quick-wittedness and proclivity towards benevolent blackmail.

When injuries eventually ravaged his body, George handed the keys of the Treasury over to the equally inspirational Alex Richardson. George continued to remain a huge supporter however: well- informed by his great friends, George Atkinson and Wor Terry. George also became well-versed with the fortunes of newer Harrier performances, via a long-standing friendship with none other than… Sam Charlton’s Grandfather. In later years, we would still see George; he was always happy; always funny; always interested.

George… in this great club, you will always be remembered: as a friend, a runner and a hero. I still see you in my mind’s eye: your strong shoulders hunched; sweat cascading down your back; and you, floating like a God, along the John Reid Road.

On behalf of Wallsend Harriers, we extend our sincere condolences to all of your family and friends. In our running community: we celebrate your life… we give thanks for what you did… and we remain eternally grateful for the legacy which you have left… we love you George”.

Steve “SOG” O’Gara

George Page RIP


  • Very sad news about George.

    How did I meet George?.

    My Dad George Atkinson took Keith (my brother) and I to Heaton Harriers for a trial, we were asked to run a lap of the track and were told we were not good enough. This was the summer of 1977.
    During this time ‘Big Bren’ was doing his fun runs at Gateshead stadium. My Dad knew George from the Chevy Chase fell race and as Keith and I had just competed in the fun run George was delighted to see two young runners.
    My Dad told him what happened at Heaton Harriers and he said bring the boys along to the sports centre, they will be made welcome at Wallsend Harriers a new club he was involved with.

    We were certainly made welcome and loved our time at the club, the following year with John Lucas Keith and I ran for Northumberland in the Inter counties. Heaton Harriers loss.

    George put himself out for all at the club, he was a member of the Ramblers.
    In 1978 he paced my Dad over the last 5 miles or so when he won the Chevy Chase, must to the disgust of the Ramblers association as they had many competitors doing the event.

    As SOG has already mentioned they were involved in a dukes of hazard car crash with the late Jimmy Wliky.

    I spent many weekends with George when camping down in Yorkshire when my Dad, Jimmy and others were doing long fell races. Georges knees were struggling then but he still put himself out for others making sure they had food and drinks during these long events and also looking after a skinny spotty kid….me.

    I popped into see George last summer and he was his normal happy go lucky self, complaining about the Lindisfarne being shut but many happy memories with the club.

    George was also involved in a serious crash on his road bike when he hit a wall at speed on a bridge and went over it, how he survived is down to George himself a real tough cookie.

    George was always at the Christmas parties that were organised for the ‘young un’s’ at the club.

    A true gent who was at the heart of the club for many years, he will be sadly missed.

    Rest in peace George and enjoy those beers with the other club members who are sadly no longer with us.

    Colin Atkinson

  • Very sad news. George, together with Doug Bramley, Gordon Smith and Terry O’Gara were instrumental in bringing Wallsend Harriers up from a fledgling beginning to where the club stands today. The quartet worked together as a team, not always on the same track though especially when it came to finance with George inevitably having the final say! I last saw George a few months ago and he said he felt ok, that was George as I knew him, no moans just getting on with life without giving you something to worry about. Let’s hope when he links up with Doug, Gordon and Terry they have a pint waiting for him. I will always remember him. RIP

  • George Page was a lovely bloke. I remember him making me feel very welcome when I joined. Definitely an important member of the club. I vaguely remember him being part of the team producing the newsletter too.

  • Our thoughts are with George’s family and friends. It’s inspiring reading through the comments and it’s clear George was a huge figure in Wallsend’s history. Thank you for all you did for this great club. RIP George

  • Such sad news.

    So many nice words have been already said about this gentleman, stalwart and hard working member of the club.

    My first memory of George was way back in 1985. As a 10 year old joining the club he was very much one of the main authority figures alongside Gordon Smith, Bill McGuirk and Terry O’Gara and it was obvious he was not someone to be crossed.

    As time went by, my running progressed and my dad became committee member, I seen the other side of George – how much time and effort he put into the club was incredible, he was a tough talking but gentle man and would always have time to ask about your training and be on the sidelines screaming at you at races.

    He was always there to offer a lift to races – I will never forget a road race in Pennistone, South Yorkshire where he drove myself, my dad, Paddy Wilson and Phil McCartney all the way down to take on Derby AC (the recently crowned National Champions – an event we were unable to attend) in an unofficial ‘Who really is the best U15 team in the Country’ race and was as thrilled as anyone when we took turned them over. We sang all the way home!

    Rest in peace George.
    Lee Morgan

  • This is sad news indeed
    I first met George when I started working at Wallsend Sports Centre.
    Proud to be part of the start of Wallsend Harriers in the 70’s
    Bill Mcguirk and many great names and dedicated individuals formed the Harriers Family
    Gentleman George
    God Bless you, give our regards to the Harriers in the sky 😪😪😪❤

  • Scott Armstrong

    I remember turning up at the club’s base at Burnside as a young lad in the mid 80’s, and George was always one of the first people to arrive in the changing room with his noticed board and subs sheet. He used to greet you with “Have you got ya 50p subs lads?” I always used to keep a bit of money so I could get a can of pop or chocolate after training. I have nothing but happy memories from my time at Wallsend and George and the committee were the solid foundations the club has been built on.