One of Britain’s 400m greats, Todd Bennett, has unfortunately lost his six month battle with cancer.
Aged just 51 when he died, athletes, fans and family paid tribute to the former indoor 400m world record holder via Twitter yesterday morning.
His son, Aaron Bennett, tweeted: “Today Todd Bennett crossed his final finish line…Cancer one of the few to beat him. Went out battling. Best father to wish for #sleeptight”
Todd’s international career began in 1981 when he conquered Europe as a junior, winning 400m gold at the European Junior Championships.
Todd reaped many benefits during his days as an athlete, playing a key part in Great Britain’s 4x400m relay team, claiming bronze in the 1983 world championships in Helsinki, and silver in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games.
In 1985, he added the European Indoor Champion title to his collection, breaking the world record in the process with his 45.56 clocking.
Two years later Todd defended his indoor title, and in 1985 claimed individual success in the World Indoor Championships with a silver medal.
Throughout his running career, he represented team GB umpteen times, attending two Olympic games, two World Championships, three Commonwealth Games, plus many, many more.
Once his competing days were over, Todd continued to give back to athletics, taking the role as coach and team manager for Southampton Athletics Club.
Todd did the country, and sport, proud, both during and after his days as an athlete, and will be sorely missed by many.
Below are some tributes to Todd:
Really sad to hear of Todd Bennett passing. Thoughts go to his family. He will be sadly missed #ripTodd
— andy turner (@andyturner110h) July 17, 2013
Sad, sad news that Todd Bennett has lost his battle with cancer. RIP
— Paula Radcliffe (@paulajradcliffe) July 17, 2013
Thank you Todd Bennett for allowing me to know a special man, father, husband, athlete and friend. You will always be in my heart! #RIP
— Darren Campbell (@campbelldarren) July 17, 2013
I wake this morning to hear the sad news that former athlete Todd Bennett has lost his fight for life. A quality man.. R.I.P
— Colin R Jackson (@ColinJackson) July 17, 2013
Very sad to hear about Todd Bennett. A great athlete, a great coach and a great person. Rest in peace.
— Andrew Steele (@AndrewSteele) July 17, 2013
Sad news of the loss of a true great- Todd Bennett. Inspiration to so many & proud husband,father,athlete & coach-Just an all round nice guy
— James Thie (@TeamThie) July 17, 2013
Awful news about Todd Bennett – vivid memories of him in 4×400 teams through the 80s. Only 51. Very sad.
— Dave Filmer (@DaveFilmerMetro) July 17, 2013