A former Olympian today shrugged off a recent heart attack by saying it only gives him more time to campaign to save Meadowbank Stadium from closure.
Chris Black won two Commonwealth Games medals and reached an Olympic hammer final. He has used Meadowbank since 1970 where he continues to train and now coaches Scottish record holder and television gladiator Shirley Webb.
Black suffered heart problems two months ago. ‘Doctors initially told me it was indigestion so I kept on going,’ he recalled. ‘It was only when it happened again and I couldn’t breathe properly that they rushed me to hospital and told me it was a heart attack.
‘I have been told to take it easy but that just gives me more time to campaign to save Meadowbank. The Council plans to do away with many of the sports on the site, including the throwing area. It’s the only place in Scotland that has a dedicated throwing area beside a stadium. Their plan is wrong because Meadowbank is precisely the sort of facility that should be retained and upgraded.
‘We don’t need Olympic sized stadiums. We need local facilities and that is where Meadowbank is absolutely vital. Allan Wells and I have known each other ever since we lived about three doors apart at Fernieside. We have been calling on the Council to ditch its stupid plan to downsize Meadowbank. Now current Olympic medallist Chris Hoy is saying exactly the same thing. I hope the Council listens to us and thousands of others who feel the same way.’
Save Meadowbank spokesman Kevin Connor said: ‘We wish Chris Black a full recovery. We are all grateful to him for the time he has spent saving Meadowbank.’
A petition to ask the Scottish Government to provide more funding for national facilities such as Meadowbank is available on the http://www.savemeadowbank.org website.
(Released: Saturday 13 September 2008)