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Remembering Dr Mike Turner

The Sports Service was sad to learn of the death last week of Dr Mike Turner, distinguished cross country runner and former President of the Cambridge University Hare and Hounds.

Born in Liverpool in 1939, Mike had a successful early career as both a student and as a runner – always proud of his Merseyside roots, he remained a member of the Liverpool Harriers and Athletic Club from 1956 until his death. Upon matriculating to Cambridge aged 19, he quickly established himself in that sphere also, winning two British Universities’ titles and the British Inter-Counties Championship (1964). He was also in the 1960s captain of the England cross-country team, and in 1966 came within an inch of the national crown, losing to Ron Hill in a race regarded as the greatest in the history of the fixture. Among many great runners of the 1960s, he is remembered as a leader and as a supremely dedicated athlete.

This excellence in sporting endeavour did not compromise his academic career in any way. Obtaining his MA in 1964 and PhD in 1966, he later became a Fellow of both Magdalene and Peterhouse colleges, becoming Dean of the former and (variously) Junior Bursar, Domestic Bursar and Senior Bursar of the latter, while also lecturing and conducting research in the Department of Land Economy.

He was both a Cambridge man and a figure of national renown, combining the Presidencies of the Cambridge Land Society and the Hare and Hounds with several senior positions in British Athletics. He was also (in 1988) Manager of the British Track and Field Team, who came back with 11 medals from the Olympics in Seoul.

A man of vast and wide-ranging accomplishments, he will be missed both within these walls and across the country. A personal tribute from his friend Roger Robinson can be found here.