Olympic medal-winning sprinter Mike McFarlane dies aged 63

By Sports Desk May 31, 2023

Mike McFarlane, a former sprinter who helped Great Britain to Olympic silver in the 4×100 metres relay at Seoul 1988, has died aged 63.

Alongside Elliot Bunney, John Regis and Linford Christie, McFarlane led Britain to the runners-up spot in South Korea, while he had individual success with Commonwealth gold in the 200m at Brisbane in 1982.

Once he had hung up his running spikes, McFarlane enjoyed a successful coaching career, including the 2012 women’s sprint relay team of England Athletics, which said he was still overseeing the careers of “a number of high ranking and upcoming athletes up to his untimely death”.

The governing body added: “England Athletics is saddened to hear of the death of Mike McFarlane.”

McFarlane, who also won gold in the 60m at the 1985 European Indoor Championships and relay bronze in the European Championships the following year, coached several female sprinters to success including Desiree Henry, Jodie Williams and Finette Agyapong.

Katharine Merry, who won 400m bronze at Sydney 2000, tweeted: “Sorry to hear about of the passing of Mike McFarlane. A wonderful coach and a super athlete. How sad. No age at 63. Always a smiling face. He will be missed. RIP Mac.”

Newham and Essex Beagles, McFarlane’s former athletics club, paid a touching tribute to the ex-track star.

A statement on the club’s Facebook page said: “All at Newham & Essex Beagles are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Mike McFarlane (Mac) MBE, the renowned Olympic sprinter and coach.

“Mike’s extraordinary contributions to the world of athletics have left an indelible mark, and his loss will be felt deeply by the entire sporting community.”

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