Category Archives: General News


After consulting with information from the Government and also discussions with the committee, it has been decided to indefinitely postpone all club activities with immediate effect. This also means that the AGM will also be put back to a later date this year.
The club will effectively be put into a state of “deep freeze” until further notice. This is a very sad situation and we do it reluctantly in light of all the good our sport does for both physical and mental health but we have to follow national guidelines.
On the positive side though, we would love you all to share pictures and comments from any runs you do during this period so we can all keep in contact and fill the world of at least our social media with good and happy news!
We will endeavour to keep you updated on any more news.
Take care of yourselves and look out for each other where possible.
Phil Liberman (HJ Chairman)

VMLM club ballot

Have you been rejected from the Virgin Money London Marathon ballot? Don’t despair! There is still a lifeline to taking part in next year’s event. We have 3 places available but you have to meet the following criteria:

  • Places no.1 & 2 (club allocation) – Entrants must fulfil the club rules which can be found HERE
  • Place no.3 (Volunteering) – Entrants need to have volunteered at either VMLM in 2019 or Ride London in the last 2 years and also have been rejected through the ballot this year.

If you are interested and can provide evidence to support your claim to any of the 3 places available, please CONTACT US to register your entry to our ballot. Names will be drawn from a hat at the annual awards ceremony which is planned for Tuesday 3rd December 2019.

Tony Johnson – 1960-2019

Horsham Joggers lost a dear friend on 20th July. Tony was a key part of the club from the early 2000’s until 2016 when he was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease which, ultimately stopped him from running. To say his time at the club was integral to the current success would be an understatement and we all owe a huge debt of gratitude to him for his leadership, straight talking, dogged determination and useful inventions.

Tony grew up in Reigate and attended Reigate Grammar School before turning his hand to joinery. He joined Horsham Joggers in 2004, shortly after meeting Julia and by 2008 they were married with both standing on the committee and helping to shape the club’s future as well as organising the much-loved Valentine’s Run from 2008 to 13, social events and even the flagging Alf Shrubb memorial race.

When Gordon Reay stood down as chairman in April 2011, there was only really one choice to replace him and Tony duly stepped up with Julia very much in the wings supporting him. Some say that Gordon could see into the future as by October 2011 the club’s future was plunged into doubt when Horsham District Council announced the closure of Broadbridge Heath Leisure Centre, without re-providing for the many clubs and community members who used it.

But what they hadn’t banked on was the outpouring of objection and groundswell of public opinion, mainly lead by Tony. He stood up to the authorities, formed a Joint User Group and called our club to arms, in order to overturn HDC’s decision. We marched on the council offices with our homemade placards, demonstrated in the town centre at the weekend collecting petition signatures and even ran a continuous relay from the town to the leisure centre, all to raise awareness of the plight of our club, as well as others.

He won a Community “Good Sport” Award in November 2012 for his work fighting the closure but in typically modest fashion he told the local press “I feel like a bit of a fraud, it’s such a strange feeling, thank you”, later adding on our social media page “Although I received the award, it’s for all of the hard work put in by everyone who fought to keep the track and leisure centre”.

The work that Tony put into saving our meeting place went deeper than just the visible activity. He spent countless hours writing emails, researching the legal and moral objections and meeting users and councillors alike. By 2015 the council had reversed their decision and agreed to re-provide a new leisure centre (albeit smaller and for less user groups) and by October 2018 it was opened to the public; a ceremony which Tony attended. But, he had to have the last word; writing to the West Sussex County Times the following week and reminding the champagne quaffing councillors that it was the user groups and members of the public who should be thanked for re-providing a much loved public resource.

So, if you’ve been to The Bridge and used the new facilities, it’s fair to say that it probably wouldn’t be there without Tony’s tenacity and drive for justice.

Although not really becoming a runner until he met Julia, it’s fair to say that he was extremely competent and competitive. His 15 marathons, countless half marathons, 10k’s, Sussex Grand Prix races, Christ Hospital relays and even his one parkrun at Horsham’s inaugural event speak for themselves. Anyone who can run 5k around our lovely park in 19 minutes and 35 seconds deserves respect! His style was unique; often seen bouncing around Horsham with both feet off the ground! All arms and legs but fast never-the-less.

By far the best event in Tony’s opinion was the South Downs Way 100 mile Relay. An invitation only event that Horsham Joggers took part in many years ago. He contacted the organisers and got hj back on the invitation list. Then, having done so well in 2012, we were invited to enter a 2nd team in 2013 and it has since become one of the highlights of the hj calendar. Tony competed in the event from 2012 to 16 and always said it was one the best days of running he could ever have. The Downs had a special place in Tony’s life.

He stood down as Horsham Joggers Chairman and honorary member in April 2015 and leaves wife, Julia. Son, Jamie. Two sisters and one brother and will be very much missed by everyone who knew him. His funeral will take place on Tuesday 6th August at 3.40pm at Worthing Crematorium, BN14 0RG with a celebration of his life continuing afterwards at Long Furlong Barn, Clapham, BN13 3XN.


After meeting the staff at “The Bridge” today these are the new arrangements going forward for assembly at the new leisure centre (this overrides anything mentioned in this weeks week@hj post on Facebook)
Tuesdays – if you walk as if going to the new reception area, entry via the bowling club car park, and follow the path round the back of the new building there is a paved area and a covered area where people can park bikes. We will meet there.

Thursdays – following the same route but this time all the way along to the entrance to the reception area but without entering, there is a small path on the left follow this down to the track.

Toilets are available to use in the cafe area of the centre on both nights, which are to the left of reception. Showering and changing facilities are ONLY available on Thursday evenings, to use please ask at reception.
I hope all this makes sense, spread the word. Thank you!


Let’s get quizzical!

Yes you lovely people, it’s that time of year when we ask you to put on your general knowledge heads and join us for the legendary hj quiz night on Friday 16th November at Horsham Cricket and Sports Club, Cricket Field Road.

You can now register teams of maximum six players (min 2 hj members per team) with £18 per team payable on the night (that’s just £3 per person!)

Our new quiz master will be bringing 10 rounds of 10 questions on a wide range of subjects with a break half way through. The bar will be open for liquid refreshments but you can bring your own nibbles.

Doors open at 7pm and it’s eyes down at 7.30pm sharp!

To register your team, please CONTACT US

Good luck!


ANDREW SPRIGGS – 29.11.48 to 28.12.17

A bright light was extinguished from the Horsham Joggers family over Christmas. This is our tribute to a great man.

Born in 1948 in North London, distance running wasn’t Andy’s first passion; he became a black belt in judo at university and then went on to become a coach in the sport. He moved around with work from Leicestershire, Hampshire, Oxfordshire, Wiltshire and eventually to Horsham in 1988 to work as a retail pricing analyst with ExxonMobil at their Leatherhead office, from where he later took early retirement.

Already in his forties, he joined Horsham Joggers in 1996 and became a regular and committed member, often helping newcomers, leading groups, participating in races and eventually taking over the organisation of a flagging Horsham 10k race in 2005, as well as standing on the committee for 4 years. His contribution to the 10k was pivotal when he combined his other passion for fundraising and he joined forces with the Horsham Lions Club to deliver an improved race from a brand new venue. With his enthusiasm for Horsham Joggers and the Horsham Lions Club, he almost single-handedly drove the event forward for eight years to its current status as a regular feature on the annual race calendar. Andy stood down as Race Director in 2012 but continued to be on hand for the new administration in the following years.

When diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease (MND) in 2011, the 46 times half marathon and 39 times marathon man’s ability slowed but he still continued walking with the pub run group and kept beavering away fundraising with the Horsham Lions and MND Association. With his mobility becoming less easy, Andy found new ways to stay mobile and set his sights on raising funds for the West Sussex branch of the MND Association by teaming up with nephew, Chris to complete more marathons while being pushed in a rickety NHS wheelchair! His exploits were even put into print in Chris’s 2015 book, “The Reason I Run”.

Andy leaves his wife of 44 years Sandra. Daughter, Sarah. Son, Paul and daughter, Joanna as well as six grandchildren and a wider group of family and friends. Andy’s funeral will take place at Worthing Crematorium on Wednesday 17th January 2018 at 11am with Sandra requesting no flowers, just donations direct to The MND Association or at the service or via the funeral director, Freeman Bros – Horsham, if you would like to.

He will be missed enormously by all those who knew him but will definitely be enjoying his “last lap” up there!


Some hj members have provided us with their personal thoughts and tributes below:

Alan SmithI was saddened to hear that Andy had passed away. I have been a friend of his for a good number of years, having trained with and run against him in numerous events. There was already a friendly competitiveness between us with honours even I think. Andy never complained of his condition to me. He was one of those genuine people, no side to him and never a bad word to say. He was brave courageous and most of all a very nice bloke. I will miss him.

Mike De FrateschiAndy was truly inspirational. As one of a kind he was totally selfless giving much to others whilst asking for nothing in return. He dealt with his cruel illness with great dignity and courage. We shall miss him. RIP Andy.

Sue SimmonsAndy gave so much to the club, both on the committee and running every week and his bravery in managing his MND meant conversations with him were always enjoyable. He excelled at being a marathon runner but always had time to run with club runners and encourage anyone new to running. He pioneered the Horsham 10k from being a small local race to one of the main SGP races. He will be sadly missed but remembered as an inspiration to everyone at the club.

Edward SmithI was saddened to hear the sad news of Andy’s passing. We were in the same running group and I will always remember him as a true gentleman who kept the rest of us focused on the training (usually hard training if Andy set the pace!) in hand when we were worried more about which pub serves the best pint. In recent years when I bumped into him he would always remember my name and he definitely showed true grit with the situation he found himself in. He will be truly missed.

Alan PettittAndy was a truly remarkable person who I have been most privileged to run with since I started running with the club. He has been an inspiration to me both in my running and in life. I was in awe since the time he came flying past me half way round the Brighton half. How could that old fella run faster than me? He introduced me to pub runs and the joy of running across muddy fields. He ran dozens of marathons when I thought that one was an achievement. He never complained, just got on with things, right up to his last days, always helping others. He did so much for the club and its members, we can forever be grateful and I will miss him dearly.

Peter DudmanAndy had always been a great participant and supporter of the Pub Runs and the Winter Sunday Runs for many years. Not only running when he was able, but planning and organising routes. He continued his support, when eventually confined to a chair. Whilst Sandra did the walks he would attend to be sure that the pubs and beer came up to our standards . Andy will be missed by us all . 

Olive HobbsIt`s difficult to pen adequate words and I sure that there will be a vein running through thoughts and comments that will honour dear Andy. I mainly think of all the energy he (and Sandra) gave to raising awareness of MND,fund raising with street collections, quiz nights and so forth. Also being very warm and genuine human being.

Pete O’ConnellVery sad. Andy was a massive help to Val when she started training with the club. I have film of Andy outsprinting Alan Smith in our golden mile which I happily copied for them causing much friendly banter! Rock on, RIP my man .

Ben AgerosRest in peace Andy. Good memories of our London Marathon training for CHASE back in 2006

Mariann BourneVery sad news. Ours deepest and most heartfelt condolences to Sandra and family. We have many fond memories of Andy helping and encouraging us on our long Sunday runs and the cold evenings on the track doing yassos. Be at peace Andy.

Sue BinksRest in peace Andy, always a sweet and generous man.

Michael SaundersA truely sad day for all who knew him. Always a gentleman, never an unkind word for anyone and always ready to help and give his time not only to help new members of the HJ’s family but to the club also.

Raff VitaleSad day for HJ!! Was always so encouraging and full of life, supporting all runners whatever their ability. Andy will always be remembered. Condolences go out to all the family.

Jason WalkerBless you Andy it was a pleasure to have known you. Andy helped me enter my first ever race as a Horsham Jogger all those years ago as I didn’t have a clue how to do it as daft as it sounds. He was a very generous man and always went out of his way to help you. He will be sadly missed by all! Xx

Paul OakleyAndy was one of the first club members I chatted to when I was thinking of joining the club over 10 years ago. His friendly manner was a great encouragement. Condolences to the family.

Phil LibermanRIP Andy and my condolences to the Spriggs family. It was always great to see you at the pub runs, a lovely guy, thank you for everything you did for HJ.

Dan HolderRIP Andy. Xx

Mikey O’GradyThis is truly sad news. Great bloke. Sympathy to the family.

Paul AylettI first met Andy in 2001 when I joined Horsham Joggers and turned up on a Tuesday evening to find everyone leaving without me (as it used to be!). Andy stopped and turned to me and said “Come on, you look like you’re faster than us old blokes!). I ran with him and “Big Andy” (Malpress). Over the coming weeks and months he kind of took me under his wing and built me up towards time trialing and then the Barns Green half before encouraging me to do my one and only marathon in London. Later he encouraged me to help with the Horsham 10k and in 2012 when he stood down, I took over and tried to fill those extremely big shoes of his. The race was already a success under his leadership and he was still on hand to help us take it to the next level. When confined to a wheelchair, Andy came to the track one Thursday evening and I had the pleasure of pushing him for a lap or two. It was hard enough on the flat so I have no idea how he and Chris managed marathons with it! As has already been said, Andy was a truly genuine, kind and generous man whose focus is legendary. A life cut short by a vicious disease which has no cure! RIP Andy.

Neil and Val McLachlanAndy was such a lovely man. He was so kind and generous, always thinking of others even when he himself had the most cruel disease to contend with. It was a privilege to have him as a friend. I will always remember the run six of us had on the High Weald Way over five days. We bonded together and had such a good time. When Andy could no longer run eight of us would get together over a meal and always had so many laughs. We are pleased you are no longer suffering Andy. Rest in peace.

Emma Walters – I didn’t know Andy but when I first started running and on my 3rd parkrun in October 2015 I remember seeing a man being pushed around in his wheelchair at great speed and I thought that was amazing. I went into work and told many of my patients how parkrun really was accessible for all and it has encouraged those with complex disabilities to take part in parkrun. I later found out that it was Andy Spriggs. If only he knew how that event that day has inspired so many. 

Pete NoadI have so many memories of Andy that it is difficult to pick out one in particular. As someone once said”, I am sending you a long letter because I didn’t have time to write a short one”. When moving I draw up a list of things would like from a new house and area; south facing garden, good size garage, quiet neighbourhood etc. On my list, near the top, was “join a running club” It was the best thing I did, yet if it wasn’t for Andy I might never have joined Horsham Joggers. Andy & I joined the Joggers on the same day in August 1996. In those days we in met in Horsham Park. When we arrived there was no one there, only Andy and I. We introduced ourselves and decided to run up to Broadbridge Heath. We found that everyone had run to the Itchingfield time trial. We both looked at each other, I was all for going home, on the basis that this was a serious running club. Andy however just said, let’s do it. As with with MND, Andy never complained “just got on with it” So off we went, ran the time trial and joined the Joggers, the rest is history….thanks Andy. He contributed so much to the club, even when suffering from MND, never once complained “just got on with it.”

Ray AgerosRest in peace my friend, I’ll continue to remember  our many years that we have been in Joggers, & now that I’m an all year walker I’ll remember you every time I put my winter gloves on, thanks for leaving them to me .

David SandhamI was sad to hear the news about Andy Spriggs , he was one of the key people who welcomed me into Horsham Joggers in 2004. He organized a multi day running trip along the Offa’s Dyke path the following year, with other stalwarts Alan Smith, Andy Malpress, Pete Noad and Iain Campbell, which was instrumental in convincing me that I could run a marathon – I shall be forever grateful for that. A truly inspirational man.





England Athletics registered athletes can now apply for a guaranteed entry into the 2017 Brighton Marathon. Entries are limited per club according to the number of first claim registered members. If any affiliated club member is interested in applying for one of these places please email the club mailbox The club has been allocated 6 places (calculated on the affiliated membership) and if there are more than 6 applicants a ballot will be held with the usual club rules applying.
Entry into the Brighton Marathon costs £69.50 and entries must be applied for through the club secretary. Only requests to enter from club secretaries will be accepted.
British elite athlete and Masters opportunities information is available here:
England Athletics Club entries are available until February 20th, 2017.
Race packs will need to be collected by the runner or a friend / member of family from the Brighton Marathon Exhibition held on Friday 7th and Saturday 8th April.

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED: Gunpowder Trot, Sunday 6 November

We are hosting our West Sussex Fun Run League event, the Gunpowder Trot, on Sunday 6 November at 10am.

We need lots of fantastic HJ members to make sure the event is a success.  From baking in advance, to roles on the day of the race, there are lots of tasks to be done, and many hands make light work!

If you want to volunteer to bake and/or to help on the day, please fill in the following link:  Gunpowder Trot Volunteer Form Survey

Filling in this form ensures we collect all the information we need from you in one go, and makes it easy to contact you to follow up in due course.

Because this is a new course, we will be organising a club run before the event so that members can familiarise themselves with the course. Details will be advertised on Facebook and at club nights in due course. 

Following feedback from volunteers after the Valentine’s Run last year, we will also be organising a preparatory briefing session for marshals the week before the race. We will contact volunteers in due course with details of this session.

The course is around 4.5 miles long, cross-country on public footpaths across Chesworth Farm and the Denne Park estate. Race HQ is at the Normandy Centre in Denne Road, with parking in town centre carparks. The start is accessed by foot from Denne Road, over the railway footbridge opposite the cricket club. The course is harking back to a cross-country course the club used to use some years ago.

We have chosen to move the race to this new location, because of traffic and safety concerns we were experiencing on the old course. The new route is completely off road which will make it much safer for runners and volunteers alike.

Thank you in advance for volunteering to help us with this exciting new event,

Victoria Saunders
Gunpowder Trot Organiser

Brighton Marathon Places

In recognition that entries to the 2016 Brighton Marathon filled very quickly, England Athletics has agreed with the organisers of the Brighton Marathon for places to be made available to Sussex clubs. It will apply only to Sussex Clubs who are members of both the Sussex Athletics Network and England Athletics, and places will be allocated on the club’s England Athletics voting rights. Horsham Joggers have been allocated 3 places in the Brighton Marathon.
The only criteria for these places is an up-to-date membership of Horsham Joggers and Affiliation Membership to England Athletics. If you are interested in getting one of these places can you email Sue Simmons ( as soon as possible. If more than 3 members apply then there will be a ballot at the Christmas Party on Friday 18th December.
PS Christmas Party tickets can be obtained from James Munden ( £10 each or pay money into the HJ account (20-23-97 20523984) with name and reference – let James know if you pay into the account so he can add you to the list.