TRIBUTES have been paid to running stalwart and athletics club legend Arthur Whiston, who has died aged 73.

A respected and committed club runner, Arthur was liked by everyone who trained with him on club nights and competed alongside him on race days.

Tragically, Arthur died following a crash with a car on Friday afternoon in Argents Lane near West Bergholt. A woman from Colchester was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving.

His commitment to Colchester Harriers made him synonymous with the athletics club and he ran his last half marathon as recently as March.

Despite his achievements on the running track and road running circuit – and there were many of note – what stood out about Arthur was his kindness, dedication, and popularity.

Lydia Cunningham, who met Arthur in the late 1980s, said it was very rare for her to run alongside Arthur without someone stopping to greet him as he ran past.

She said: “I ran a lot with Arthur – we ran marathons together, and we couldn’t go anywhere without someone shouting ‘Arthur!’

“He really did know a heck of a lot of people – every time I went out running with him, someone literally shouted out of their window from the top floor to say hello to him.”

“He just knew a lot of people – I suppose I remember that about him because wherever he went, he didn’t know just one person, but a lot of people.”

Part of the reason Arthur was so well known and well liked was because of his sense of service – there was rarely a parkrun event when he wasn’t competing or marshalling.

“The Harriers and running were his passions,” Ms Cunningham continued.

“He marshalled all over the place – it wasn’t just his commitment to the running community, it was his commitment to the community as a whole.

“He was a sweet man – he was very gentle and loved by all.”

Arthur, who lived in Stanway, formerly worked in the Royal Army Medical Corps and had a quiet personality, Ms Cunningham, 56, added.

But despite his self-effacing character, he was thrilled to be on the front cover of a special 30th anniversary edition of the Runners’ World magazine.

Arthur was put forward for the competition because of his commitment to the Harriers, which he joined in 2002.

His clubmates, whom Arthur regarded effectively as his second family, ran a lap together in his honour at the Ekiden Relays in Woolverstone on Sunday.

A minute’s applause will take place at the Garrison Athletics Track on Tuesday night, and athletes will remember him at Highwoods parkrun on Saturday by running in their Harriers’ kit.

“He was like a mascot for the harriers – we are all devastated losing him," Ms Cunningham added.

Arthur is survived by his stepdaughter and granddaughter.