“It is with great sadness that we have to report the death last week of Peter Watson, one of Pudsey and Bramley’s most influential members.
Born in 1938, he showed his athletic prowess from a young age, and started to take it seriously when a leg injury – whilst playing his other great love Rugby League – led him to take running seriously. He joined Pudsey and Bramley and, along with other talented runners, won numerous team trophies running for the club. In fact, when he and two other Petes (Pete Covey, Pete Longfield) won the Three Peaks team trophy one year, such was the dominance they thought of renaming it “the three Petes”.
On a personal level, Pete made his mark on the summit of many fells in the 1960’s and 70’s, challenging as he did for victory at distinguished Fell races such as the Three Peaks and Ben Nevis. However his most notable triumphs were at local Fell Races such as Harden Moss (8 wins) and his 7 victories at Burnsall Fell, setting numerous records in the process. He wasn’t quite the GOAT but definitely was part mountain goat.
But he shall mainly be remembered for his impact as a coach and long-time president of Pudsey and Bramley AC. His ability to nurture budding athletes and bring them through the ranks led to many successes for the club at all levels. Many of those runners will tell you that they wouldn’t have even thought about running competitively if it wasn’t for his influence. That was in no small part thanks to not only his knowledge and ability to communicate that knowledge, but also his innate ability to inspire and, above all, keep it fun with his quirky but consistent sense of humour.
As if that wasn’t enough, he initiated and organised the Simons Seat fell race for many years, which I believe the Duke of Devonshire is still receiving therapy for. He also played a big part in organising athletic events such as the West Yorkshire Cross Country league.
In the tight-knit athletics community, Pete was cherished as a friend, mentor, and role model. His absence will undoubtedly leave a void that can never be filled. As we mourn his untimely departure, let us also celebrate the remarkable life he lived and the memories he gifted us.
Rest in peace, dear Pete. Your spirit will forever dance among the fells and fields you loved.”