It was with great sadness that the club received news of the death of one of its past members. Andy Freer died suddenly on 12th April, aged 75 years.

Andy joined Westerlands during the running boom in the mid-1980s and remained a member for over 20 years. He was a regular attender at Wednesday evening club runs for many years and didn’t mind running out in the countryside in the dark over ground that sometimes could barely be seen. Although not the typical build of a distance runner and lacking part of one lung which had been surgically removed when he was a young adult, he participated in countless road races and achieved some very respectable times. He completed one road marathon but didn’t really enjoy the experience. Trail running was a particular favourite of his, mainly just for pleasure, but he did take part in a few events including one of the early 10 mile hellrunner events at Mugdock. Wet feet and muddy legs were one of his benchmarks for a good run but, first and foremost, Andy was a social runner who enjoyed a bit of banter and light-hearted conversation. As Gillian Irvine, who ran with him regularly for many years, said ” Running with Andy could be therapeutic “.

He became a less frequent attender after he retired from his work at the University of Glasgow where he was a lecturer and honorary senior research fellow in Chemistry. However, he continued to run post retirement, entering the occasional 10K road race, and maintaining the Wednesday run tradition with Ian Struthers, in all weather, but taking the opportunity of going in the daytime to allow time for a post run bacon roll and coffee at a local cafe.

It was while out on a run that Andy collapsed and died. He is predeceased by his eldest son, Mark. Our thoughts are with his wife, Kay, his 2 remaining sons Colin and Christopher and his 2 grandchildren Dylan and Eva.

5 replies
  1. Charlie Campbell
    Charlie Campbell says:

    I am sad to hear that about Andy. I always loved his dry wit and little one liners, etc, when I joined the club. Best way to go, if he died doing what he loved, out on a run. RIP AF

  2. Grim Graeme
    Grim Graeme says:

    A few memories of a great, easy-going Westy. Andy would always turn out as a spectator at the Alan Scally Relays in November in Baillieston, near his home; those were the pre-Millennium Westy days, when we could rustle up 2 or 3 road relay squads.
    Andy was a fun runner; I recall a race we shared with Ian Struthers round Cumbrae in 2002 (I still have the T-shirt!). The course is a flat 10.25 miles with lovely views, and there was a big field of 100 or so. We started & finished at Millport pier; a mile or so into the race, I passed Ian and Andy, happily blethering away – as fun runners do. Andy’s laid-back manner hid demonic tendencies behind the wheel, however; Ian’s memorable Glasgow – Fort Bill 1998 relay relied on Andy to take runners to the change-over stations, many on rural back roads & West Highland Way road crossings. I suppose his fast driving got our pulses racing in preparation? You’ll be missed, Andy!

  3. Dave Calder
    Dave Calder says:

    Nice write-up, Ian and a great shock to hear that Andy has passed away. As Iansays, Andy joined Westies as the club grew back in the mid-eighties and his attitude blended seamlessly with the culture of the club, never taking his running all that seriously. He always had a glint in his eye, ready to puncture any sense of a slightly inflated ego. When he joined Westies, he was already in his prime (or he did to all us youngsters), his silver hair and shuffle unmistakable on Wednesday nights, races and extravaganzas. I recall one West District XC Relays, in Twechar of all places, where Andy managed to injure himself stretching before the start of the race, much to the hilarity of the rest of us. Andy was also one of the merry band of Westies who ventured into the late-May blizzard on the Lairig Ghru all these years ago; I remember waiting at the Pools of Dee for Andy to appear in the whiteout and having to lend him a top to warm up as we tried to navigate our way across the snow-covered boulder field. Like the rest of us, he ploughed on and made it through to the end. He was the best of us, brightening up any event and always fun to be around. In this century, the weekly runs of Ian and Andy (occasionally with guest appearances by others) became a fixture, and I always imagined (with a tinge of envy) the conversations between the pair on their plouters. He’ll be missed!

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