Carl Sheldon: A Tribute by Alan Newman

Carl Sheldon’s funeral on 12th January 2017 was well supported by his club, Paddock Wood AC, but many newer members will be unaware of this fine veteran sprinter’s athletics achievements.

Club coach, Alan Newman, has been given a wonderful photo of Carl representing GB Masters in the World Masters Championships in Riccione, Italy in September, 2007.

Carl was everything a coach would wish for in an athlete. He trained hard but intelligently, expertly maximising his potential. He understood that having come into a tough sport at a later age he had to train smart to compete at the highest level but there was nothing that would stop him from testing himself against the best in the world.

Highlights from Carl’s short but successful international career were the World Championships at Riccione in 2007 and Indoor World Championships at Clermont-Ferrand, France in 2008. He also competed in the European Veterans Stadia Championships at Ljubjana, Slovakia in 2008.

Carl was ranked in the top ten nationally at his peak and his best positions were sixth at 60m and 100m and indoor 200m in 2008. His personal bests (aged 65 plus) were 9.05 for 60m indoors; 14.18 for 100m and 29.91 for 200m in 2008. He also recorded 73.07 for 400m in 2007.

All these results were achieved in national or international events and are club records. Less well known records owned by Carl are a share of the M55 high jump (1.20m) with Brian Belton and the M60 pole vault best (1.50m) – he was particularly proud of the latter mark!

Carl enjoyed nothing more than competing in GB M65 sprint relay teams and he won a World Championship silver medal at Clermont-Ferrand in the 4x200m (1:59.54) and European silver in the 4x400m (4:42.66) and bronze in the 4x100m (55.56) at Ljubjana in 2008.

I will remember Carl as a dedicated athlete who prepared meticulously for major championships, with the knack of bringing his best performances out when it mattered most. I will also remember his Indiana Jones dress sense, Sean Connery looks and ironic humour in any circumstances. He was extremely sociable and great company whether at an athletics match, club function or any excuse to simply enjoy life.

Club members should look at the attached photo and see an athlete in his prime, exhibiting great style and determination plus pride in carrying the national colours in the heat of competition.

Thanks Carl, it was a pleasure to know you and to share some of those special moments at home and abroad.

Alan Newman

Photo provided by Tom Phillips. View more Masters Athletics, mountain scene and river view photos at




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