Cupar Games to be dedicated to stalwart John Hendry

John Hendry
John Hendry
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This year’s Cupar Highland Games are to be re-named in honour of long-serving president John Hendry, who died in March aged 82.

The 2016 Games, which take place at Duffus Park on June 11, will be known as the John Hendry Memorial Games in recognition of the huge contribution John made to the event over the years.

His eldest son, Alan, will be this year’s Chieftain.

John played a key role in reviving Cupar Highland Games in 1979 and had been heavily involved since then.

Many Cuparians remember John as proprietor of Hendry’s Giftware, but he was also an accomplished athlete in his younger days.

His athletic career began in his early teens, when he won the half-mile for under 16s at the Scottish Championships.

In June 1951, he took seven seconds off the mile record at the same championships and won the Eric Liddell Trophy for the day’s outstanding performance.

Shortly after this - just six months short of his 18th birthday - he was third in the mile at the British Junior Championships, going on to win the British title the following year.

He also finished runner-up in the Scottish senior mile championship in 1953, 1954 and 1957.

Serving in the army at the age of 19, he became a PE instructor and his athletics career continued both inside and outside the army.

He joined a Dusseldorf club and competed at local German events, as well as taking part in army and inter-service track and cross-country races. He won multiple titles over different distances in the British Army of the Rhine championships in 1954 and 1955, at a time when that postwar occupation force still consisted of 80,000 men.

In 1972, John was involved in the formation of Cupar and District Athletic Club, and stayed involved for the next four decades as athlete, coach, administrator and club patron.

He coached hundreds of youngsters locally during the 1970s and 80s, including his sons Alan and Douglas, both of whom won Scottish Schools titles under his tutelage.

John also completed many marathons, including the London event.

In 1992 he and his wife Margaret, who died a year ago, joined the elite ranks of people who have bagged all the munros.

John was also chairman of Cupar Round Table in the 70s and president of the Rotary Club in the 90s.