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Joe Beswick - Helsby Running Club
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Joe Beswick

Joe Beswick

Funeral details at: Joe’s funeral

A message from our chair, Phil Gillard:

It is with great sadness that I have to announce the passing of Joe Beswick of Helsby Running Club at the age of 89.

Joe was a talented runner who started off his athletics career in the army, developing into an inspirational coach in multiple local clubs. In addition to his athletic activities, he was heavily involved in organising outdoor adventures for both voluntary organisations and the apprentices in his charge. My recollections of Joe started off during his years as a vet 70 when he was particularly competitive (holding his age group record for the Rivington Pike race for a number of years). More recently you will have heard his “wahh hay” as he supported and marshalled at numerous races, popping up in the most obscure places and giving you that extra boost as you felt yourself flagging.

Unfortunately, in these days of Covid restrictions, there will be limited numbers at his funeral, we will try and ensure that the running community are represented as best we can.


For fund-raising in memory of Joe see: 9 Miles for Joe

Joe Beswick

Gallery of photos of Joe

If you would like us to add a photo to this gallery, please contact us 🙂


  1. Adair Broughton

    I’m not sure I can find the words to rightfully express all that Joe gave to the running community, or meant to people who had the pleasure to know him, or to be cheered by him and be lucky enough to have been coached by him. In the hidden folds of our landscape he would appear as if by magic to support each and every person who fought fatigue to find some lost energy in his cheer to help them cross the line in many a fell race, road race or mud splattered winter field. A remarkable man, who gave so much, without the need for anything in return apart from the joy in seeing people achieve some things they did not think possible. A true gentleman, a friend, a coach and I hope his family can feel the love and thoughts that so many people will have and will always have. I still treasure the horseshoe I found on the day we went metal detecting Joe! The real treasure in life is people isn’t it. RIP Joe, and thanks for everything. Adair

  2. Emily Beswick

    Thank you for this wonderful tribute to our dad and grandad Joe Beswick, it is so lovely to hear about all the people he cheered on and who will remember him. I just wanted to let you know that these words and photos of Joe in his prime, doing what he loved, really means a lot to the Beswick family. Thank you. From Emily Beswick his grand daughter and all the Beswick family.

    1. andy williams

      I am sorry to hear about your dad’s passing. I was fostered by your parents around 1970 and I remeber you, your sister, your dad and your mum with great fondness.

      1. Alan Beswick

        Andy, thanks so much for this message and apologies for not seeing it sooner. My daughter Emily was recently looking through the message board ahead of the 2023, Joe Beswick Sandstone Trail challenge race. She made me aware of your message. I remember you too! I think I was around six years old and you were probably 11 or 12 years old I think. You were like a big brother to me for the time you stayed with us at Weaver Road in Frodsham. I have very fond memories of your stay with us, though I know it was a difficult time for you in many ways. I have also mentioned your post to my mum, Jeanie, who is now eighty years old and still very active. She was very pleased to learn of the message about your time with us. Thanks so much for leaving your memories.

  3. Alison Beswick

    Thank you so much for these beautiful words about my Dad. This is a wonderful and very befitting tribute to one of the kindest, most gentle souls to have walked this earth. He was incredibly inspirational and will leave an everlasting blanket of love over all who knew him. May you run those fells for eternity Dad. Your time to shine again now. I love you my beautiful Dad, Always…Your Alsie. xxxx

    1. andy williams

      As I wrote to your brother above, I am sorry to hear about your dad’s passing. I was fostered by your parents around 1970 and I remeber you, your brother, your dad and your mum with great fondness.

  4. Adrian Jackson

    A true gentleman & motivational genius, Joe was such an inspirational person for what he did for Helsby running club and surrounding organisations. Joe’s legacy will continue through the Helsby community. A true embodiment of everything he stood for will live in our thoughts and hearts forevermore.

  5. Steve Bellis

    I feel privileged to have known and spoken to Joe on many occasions, we were both lucky to have been chosen to be torch bearers for the 2012 Olympics and we shared our stories of visiting schools to speak to the children, what a lovely man who clearly loved his running and the camaraderie of the running community. He will be sadly missed, never forgotten and his “whah hey” will remain in my heart forever RIP Joe❤

  6. Sue Thomson, FCA

    I was so very sad to hear that Joe Beswick has died recently and have forwarded some photographs taken when he started the Down Hill Run in 2012. He was a great help to FCA and the Downhill Run from when it first started and to begin with we weren’t sure who this person was that marked off the memorial field and other spots. He just did it and we are very grateful for that support. It was a very proud moment for us all when he came in his white suit and shared the torch at the start of the Downhill Run and shared his joy in running, people and community. Thank You Joe

  7. Tim Kerwin

    [Note from Woodland Trust posted with permission]

    I am so sorry to hear about Joe’s passing. His enthusiasm and energy was an inspiration to all. I always see him as the goal to aim for as he never seemed to show his age. He and your gang kept me informed about Woodhouse and helped me on many projects throughout the years and I was hugely grateful and confident that you all were watching over the site. It’s great that Joe’s path was created as it is a constant tribute to his involvement in the site. If you can pass this onto his family I would be most grateful.


  8. admin

    [Note from Woodland Trust posted with permission]

    Thank you so much for sending me this email allowing me to know about Joe’s passing. The tribute to him is wonderful and rightly so. I remember Joe very fondly in my early years with the Woodland Trust and we worked together on a number of really inspiring projects- notably the wonderful purchase and planting at Woodhouse Hill. I still go back regularly there- its a very special place. With your help, he was unstoppable in his work on the hill! I’m so pleased you were able to create Joe’s Path….I think of him every time I walk it.

    It is such a shame that we cant all pay our respects to him and his family at this difficult time
    Many thanks and kind regards


  9. David George


    I worked with Joe on many projects in Helsby/Frodsham over the past 25 years. remember him from many outings on WT land doing jobs including removing tree guards on Lewis Carol, Hazel Pear, New Moss Wood, Thorn Wood, and Grappenhall, collecting and planting acorns on Wheeldon, and Woodhouse, felling and thinning trees in various woods, clearing the pond at Lewis Carol of the typha that was completely choking it. Etc, etc.

    In 2011 my friend Graham and I, unbeknown to Joe, constructed a new path on Woodhouse complete with sign posts (Joe’s Path’) to commemorate his 80th birthday and about 20 years of work with the Trust. We celebrated (with coffee and cake) on his birthday.
    Woodhouse/Snidley was his favourite area and he knew it intimately, having grown up nearby and it was his playground. The path is well used, although the signs are in need of a bit of t. & c.

    I attach a few pics from 2005-2017 showing him smiling as always. He was ever cheerful and a pleasure to work with. He is sorely missed and we shall not see his like again. He was a mine of knowledge about the area and only last week I was trying to contact him regarding a new (to us) cave we had found on Snidley.

    Thanks for organising donation page for him, I have passed on the info to other friends.

    David George

  10. Mike Searle

    ‘Our Joe’

    A cheer, a grin
    An arm ‘round the shoulder
    Something we’ll never forget
    That glint in his eye
    And his mischievous smile
    Shone joy on all whom he met

    Always had time
    And tales to share
    Memories and knowledge in spades
    That was ‘Our Joe’
    And so, SO much more
    And always a welcome ‘Way-hey!’

    Mike, 13 Jan 2021

  11. chris fitzpatrick

    Thank you for all the words of encouragement over the years Joe. I will never forget you popping up in several locations on Excalibur Marathon over the Clywidians thinking ” how the hell did you get here”. I will miss the “Wayyyy Hayyyys” but also the honest person you were. An absolute Helsby Running Club legend and I will make sure all our new members know who Joe Beswick was

    RIP Joe ….Fitzy x

  12. Danny Jenkins

    It was with great sadness that I learned of Joe’s passing, please accept my heartfelt condolences. Treasured memories of a lovely man will be a comfort to joe’s family and many friends.Danny Jenkins FRA .

  13. June Whitehead

    Thank you Joe for your support and encouragement during training and races. Your spirit and light will never go out at Helsby RC.

    We felt so privileged that our paths crossed and we have learned so much from you over the years.

    We will miss you dearly.

    John, June and Olivia-Rose

  14. Sue Buck

    I will remember Joe for all the support and encouragement he gave me over the years. I will miss the many ‘way heys’ and ‘good on yas’ shouted in support. He will be very much missed not only by our club, but also the wider running community.

    RIP Joe

  15. Elizabeth Norman (Joe knew me as Liz Dobson)

    Joe was such an inspiration and always there to support and cheer for everyone at the race events, whatever the weather! I’ve lost count of the times that Joe’s shouts got me to pick my knees up a little more and get a move on ❤️. He will be greatly missed and I personally will miss his big friendly hugs, rest in peace Joe, you are a legend xxx

  16. Rebecca Tate

    I’ll miss Joe dearly. I can remember really clearly the track sessions on Helsby school field, where he’d be delighted to add in a “sting in the tail” to an already tough session. And how he mysteriously teleported around remote places, miles apart, in the Clwydian hills to support us in races. I was always thrilled to see him and couldn’t resist a hug and a chat, then he said “Anyway, you’d best carry on running, it is a race you know!” He was the face I’d look for at races and hope he was there, he was such a pleasure to chat to and so encouraging to everyone. He was and always will be an absolute inspiration to me.

  17. Steve Riley

    I’m struggling to say how much impact Joe’s loss has had, both for me personally and the club. When I first wandered along in 2007 he made me feel special, like the saviour of the club. I later realised I wasn’t that special – he greeted every new runner the same way and made us all feel special. A rare gift to have and one not faked. He did the same with my kids, making them feel welcome and included in the daft pursuits we follow.

    I’ve won a few places in races purely from an injection of his raw enthusiasm at unexpected points in muddy fields and open fells. I’d lost the odd place too when he alerted the person in front I was on their tail or he was enthusing the person behind 🙂

    He’d been there and done it and knew that trying hard, whether battling for 1st (not me) or 201st place was what mattered, right at that moment.

    I know Joe was involved in so much more than running and marvel at his energy and enthusiasm. I once stumbled across him in a small copse around the corner from my house, tools in hand. He’d noticed something needed doing and simply got on with it. He covered me in dirt push starting his car stuck on the verge, we both laughed. If half of us have half his energy at anything approaching his age, the world will continue to be a better place in small increments. A life well lived and that’s all we can really hope for.


  18. Christine Webber

    I first met Joe when he brought the Olympic Torch to show parents and children at Overton School, he was very inspiring speaking about his experience. I had also got hear of Joe through his support of activities and in meetings promoting trees, footpaths and habitats in and around Frodsham.
    So when I joined HRC about a year ago I was very happy to see a familiar face and have him send us out on the Wednesday run with great encouragement. Thanks Joe, imagined you ‘Way Heying’ me and keeping me upright with your encouragement on my Icy run ‘9 miles for Joe’
    Your inspiration will stay with me xx


    Joe will be missed by all at Helsby RC, and Shell. Even before I joined I’d heard of him. Meeting him did not disappoint. Joe made me and other new runners feel very welcome. He always had time to pass on his vast experience and encouragement, with a smile, no matter how far down the field you were.

  20. Colin Thompson

    I’m struggling to find the words to express how much I’m going to miss Joe, I know the word “legend” is used too often these days but it perfectly describes Joe, he was the heart and soul of the running club. From my very first day there Joe made me feel welcome and would offer advice on training and was great support in my role as men’s captain. He was at training every week in wind rain or shine to put us all through our paces, and of course he he would pop up in the middle of a race (in the most obscure places) to shout “waaay heeey!!” which would always give you that extra boost when you are starting to struggle. He gave so much of his time to the running community and he will be greatly missed, RIP Joe

  21. Jayne Joy

    Words simply can’t do justice … Joe you were a beautiful person, inside and out.

    Your dedication and passion led to so many experiencing the joy of running, even the delight of running up hellishly steep, slippy, muddy and ridiculously craggy fells!!

    When it felt nature, or sheer exhaustion, had the better of you-Joe would appear (well his voice first ❤️) and inspire you to push on, do him proud, the club proud and also yourself proud.

    Joe, you will always hold such a special place in my heart. You were a huge and important part of my running era, club times and achievements-without you running would have been a very different and I can honestly say a less amazing experience. You were a key player in supporting me to develop confidence and strength, a reason to commit and give it everything.

    I feel so very blessed to have had you join my world and that we were able to continue our friendship beyond the sport.
    I will miss you, dreadfully.

    A true legend x

  22. Karon Frodsham

    After knowing Joe for at least 50 years and being family friends with my parents I can only say it’s been an absolute pleasure to have known such a lovely man, spending camping trips to Shell Island and running weekends in the Lake District when I was younger are very special memories which I will never forget. You’ve been an inspiration Joe and lots of people have had the privilege of knowing you and sharing your zest for life, well I hope you meet up with my dad, your friend up in heaven Joe and you get to run some miles together! Good bye, God Bless and RIP Joe xxx

  23. Paul Frodsham

    Being predominantly a roadrunner it never surprised me to see Joe because he was always there at the local races and usually at the same spot shouting me on and then seeking me out at the finish for an update of my result and thoughts! I used to go to the High School on a Monday to train with my young boys in tow and Joe would entertain them with javelin and discuss lessons whilst I pounded the track,then one week he turned up with a discuss for my son Joe that he had made himself out of rubber so he could throw it safely to his hearts content! A discuss we still have! A lifetime of friendship,stories and memories of a man held so dear to my family and who will never be forgotten by us all !❤️

  24. Phil Tomkinson

    From the very first time I turned up at a Castle Park track session, Joe was so welcoming and encouraging and immediately made me want to be part of the club. Before long I was running in races and without fail Joe would be there cheering us all on. I was always spurred on by that inimitable “way-hey”, and at the time I assumed that as a new member I must be receiving a particularly loud cheer. I thought perhaps Joe was surprised to see me there and wanted to offer some extra encouragement. It was only later that I realised, Joe would in fact express this fantastic support and enthusiasm for every single green vest that ever ran past him. What a legend of the running community Joe is. He’ll be greatly missed and always remembered.

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