A FORMER Bradford College printer and lecturer who was also a dedicated race walker with many gold medals under his belt has died suddenly at the age of 85.

Geoff Dowling was originally from Morecambe and moved to Bradford in 1954 with his wife, Doris, to take printing work at Lund Humphries and attend college at Bradford..

He spent three evenings per week on letterpress printing and doing a City & Guilds in print management.

He later went to work in Leeds and it was while working as a shift overseer at John Waddington’s printers that he saw an advert for a printing teacher at the Regional College of Art (now Grove Building) in Bradford. That was in 1963 and he taught printing, typography and general studies there for more than 30 years.

More obituaries

Would you like to submit an obituary for publication in the newspaper and online? Use our online form to send in your details.

Days outside work were taken up with competing in race walking. This was despite contracting rheumatic fever as a child and being left with a heart murmur.

He joined the Yorkshire Race Walking Club, of which he became president. He was also secretary for a while.

Two of his favourite competitions were the Whitby Race Walk and the Morecambe Race Walk. He also took part in the Bradford Whit Walk, which started in 1903.

None of his five children took up the sport, but often helped at meetings handing out water. He continued racing into his late 70s and often won gold medals in the over-75s categories.

His daughter, Bev Brame, said: “Dad was always very active. He represented Great Britain in the 2005 European Masters, in Portugal, and won the gold medal. He would have been around 73 at the time.

“He trained all the time, often setting a stop watch and going off round the block. He’d be annoyed if he didn’t reach the time he set himself.

“When he retired from work he joined Bingley Little Theatre and learned to tap dance. He didn’t stay still for long and was always on the go right up until he died. He was also sergeant in the Territorial Army for many years.

“His death was sudden from a massive stroke on September 28.”

As a young man in 1951, Mr Dowling had been called up for National Service and found himself in Korea.

In August 2013 he was presented with a medal at the Korean Embassy, in London, and invited to spend ten days in Korea as an ambassador representing the men who had served in the Korean war at the 60th Anniversary commemorations. A funeral service is to be held at Heaton Methodist Church on Tuesday, October 17, at 12.45pm, followed by cremation at Nab Wood at 2pm.

A wake will be held at the Bankfield Hotel.

Donations are being collected for the stroke ward at Bradford Royal Infirmary.