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Tribute to Steve Morris

President and Co-Founder of Desford Striders

Steve Morris, Club President and Co-Founder of Desford Striders, tragically passed away on Friday 10 February 2023 at the age of 71, two weeks after suffering a heart attack whilst taking part in the Braunstone ParkRun.

The following tribute was published in the Hinckley Times newspaper,


Dozens of current and former members of Desford Striders Running Club turned out to pay tribute to the club’s inspirational President and co-founder Steve Morris on Saturday 11 February.

Steve, whose brainchild the club was in 1991, very sadly passed away the previous day at Glenfield Hospital at the age of 71, two weeks after suffering a heart attack whilst taking part in the Braunstone ParkRun.

And it was at Braunstone that more than 70 Striders past and present gathered to take part in the event and pay their respects to the man they knew as ‘Mr Desford’.

The club has already announced that its very popular five-mile race in the Leicester Road Running League calendar will be renamed as the Steve Morris 5 when it takes place on Sunday 9 July in tribute to him.

There were just 14 people involved when Striders were founded, a far cry from the established club that now has almost 200 members, hosts its own road and cross-country league races and sends athletes to compete in some of the most famous running events in the world.

Tribute to Steve Morris: News & Updates

To mark the club’s 30th birthday in 2021, Steve explained how he had founded it with a work colleague at the time, John Silverwood.

“I’d been running for a couple of years with John,” he explained. “We started to run at Saffron Lane but, after a little while, we asked ourselves why we were paying to go running? We both wanted to join a running club but didn’t feel they were for us because we thought they were only for elite athletes.

“It was my idea to start Striders but it is the enthusiasm and commitment of others down the years that has made it what it is today.

“It’s brilliant when I see people turning out for training on Tuesdays and runs on Thursdays and, when we’ve had 70 or more Striders turn out for Leicester Road Running League races, all proudly wearing the club colours, it has brought a lump to my throat.

“I think about it every single day and it makes me feel so proud.”

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Steve’s dream was to create a club that catered for people of all ages and abilities who share a common love of running – a vision that continues as Striders encourages local people to take up running through its popular Couch to 5K programmes.

Club chairman Andy Ball said: “Steve’s passing leaves a huge hole at Desford Striders and across the entire running community in Leicestershire, such was his involvement and dedication to the sport he loved over more than three decades.

“Some running clubs aim to train already gifted athletes to produce race-winning results, others are focused on nurturing talent. There’s nothing wrong with those approaches, but what Steve created was something different – a local running club for people who just enjoy running, whatever their ability.”

Andy paid tribute to the woman who was running nearest to Steve when he went into cardiac arrest at Braunstone ParkRun on Saturday 28 January for her quick thinking in beginning CPR straight away.

However, despite her efforts, those of a doctor who was on the scene within minutes, and the teams at the cardiac unit and AICU at Glenfield, Steve sadly lost his battle last Friday. He leaves his wife June, herself a life member of Striders, and sons Tom and Sam.

Andy added: “Steve has been taken far too soon and we are obviously going to miss his incredible knowledge of all things Striders and running-related and his vast experience.

"But, most of all, we will miss his enduring enthusiasm and commitment to running, his encouragement for others and his friendship and camaraderie.

“I think he’ll be looking down on Striders with one of his characteristic smiles and a twinkle in his eyes. He knew he had created something very special and it’s something we are absolutely determined to continue.”


Steve was at his happiest at ParkRun day for Striders' Couch to 5K graduates, seeing the next generation of beginners join the club.

Tribute to Steve Morris: News & Updates
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