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Blue plaque unveiled in memory of Murray Lambden

Saturday, 23 June 2018 10:35

His Worship the Mayor, Councillor Jon Joughin JP, has unveiled a blue plaque in memory of race walker Murray Lambden who died in April 2017.


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He was joined at the ceremony on Loch Promenade on Friday June 22 by Mr Lambden's widow, Marie, (pictured above).


Ahead of the unveiling, which took place the evening before the 2018 Parish Walk, an event in which Mr Lambden was a leading figure for many years,  His Worship said that the Council did not erect blue plaques without serious consideration of the impact the person the plaque commemorates has had on Douglas and the Isle of Man. The only two previous recipients have been Archibald Knox and the Bee Gees.


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He went on to speak of how Mr Lambden's loss had been felt widely across the island by the many people whose lives crossed with his as family, friends, and through his committed work with the island’s athletic community and his support for charity, particularly autism Initiatives.


AGroup BSC0149 MediumThe Mayor with Marie Lambden and her sons Robbie and Ben


He continued: 'Murray was a dedicated sportsman who achieved international status at race walking, representing the Isle of Man in the Commonwealth Games in Brisbane in 1982 and also Great Britain on a number of occasions. He won the Parish Walk in 1978; the End to End Walk in 1981 and was runner-up in the British 100km Road Walk Championships in the same year. He held Manx race walking records over all distances from 3kms to 50kms. At the time of his death he held Isle of Man records for various distances in 45, 50 and 55 year age groups.


'Murray was also a sports administrator. He set up, funded and maintained the Manx Athletics website, developed the live streaming website for the Parish Walk and was a central figure in the Manx Harriers Club.


'His websites are so special they have been preserved by the British Library.


'Murray was an inspiration to many Manx sportspeople, leading by example and assisting in the promotion and improvement of Manx sportsmen and women, giving them the opportunity to compete against athletes on the international stage.


'Away from sports, Murray was a driving force for the improvement of services for people with autism and Asperger’s and was instrumental with Marie in having legislation re-drafted as a result of which the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service was introduced and Autism Initiatives established on the Island.


'He campaigned vigorously for this area, Douglas Promenade Walkway, to remain free from horse trams and parked cars, to be enjoyed to the full by pedestrians. Murray adored the beauty of the Isle of Man, and was a photographer of both sporting events and the Manx landscape. Money raised from his photographs has benefited several island charities. He could be seen with his camera at most athletics events and was pivotal in producing photographic coverage for the Parish Walk and in bringing the event into the digital age and recording a complete record of Manx Athletics.


'This blue plaque has therefore been located close to the Parish Walk finish line in recognition of Murray’s success in and love for the event.'


In her reply Mrs Lambden expressed her thanks to Douglas Borough COuncil for arranging and installing the plaque on the wall of the northernmost of the Marine Gardens. 'It couldn't be in a better place,' she said.