From Stuart Benstead
It is sad to report the death of John Dennis on January 24. He was 86.
John was a founder member of the Sports Writers’ Association. He was then racing editor of The Bicycle under another founder member, Peter Bryan, who is living in Bournemouth.
Following the takeover by Cycling magazine, John moved into motorsport magazines and later into PR with the British Leyland Group. From there he moved to Volvo on the commercial vehicle side until his retirement.
John was a successful sprint cyclist in his younger days at Herne Hill track near where he lived and at other tracks across the country. He missed the 1948 Olympics as a tandem rider through injury, being replaced by Reg Harris and Alan Bannister, who went on to win the silver medals.
He contributed to the sport in many ways throughout his life, including several years as manager of Herne Hill promoting international meetings and starting up the Cycle Sport magazine. Upon his retirement he and his wife Shelagh took the reins at the ailing race scene at the Palmer Park track in Reading. He built up a volunteer team to the point where the track thrives and now hosts national championships.
Although in failing health for a long time, he took particular pleasure in the success of Bradley Wiggins as, when a youth rider, Wiggins was a regular competitor in races promoted by John at Reading.
There is a private woodland burial on February 11, with a celebration of his life at Winnersh, near where he lived, on February 12.
The officers, committee and members of the SJA send their deepest condolences to the family and friends of John.