RUNNING club members have been mourning the death of an inspirational coach.

Dudley Kingswinford Running Club stalwart John Glover died on July 28, after a battle with cancer.

The much-loved club member, who was 71, was known far and wide for his dedicated efforts in putting those new to running through their paces with DK’s popular beginners’ course.

And such was his commitment to the Wall Heath based running club, which runs alongside DK Rugby Club, that he was selected to be an Olympic torchbearer ahead of the London 2012 Olympics.

John, who had run marathons, half marathons and a host of other events, became part of sporting history when he carried the torch through Gnosall, Staffordshire, before the games got underway and he later proudly showed off the famous torch to club members at DK.

The honour left the former engineer turned handyman, from Netherton, on “cloud nine” and proved an experience of a lifetime.

Friend and fellow runner Ingrid Cain led tributes to John on DK’s website. She said: "His legacy runs on in each and every one of us from his 20-plus years at DK. He made sure each run was enjoyable and treated all as equals regardless of speed. John would not want any fuss or drama and would tell us to just carry on running."

A statement on the DK Rugby Football Club added: "John was an ever present around the club and a friend to many. He will be sadly missed by all at DKRFC."

His funeral will be held on Wednesday August 14 at Stourbridge Crematorium at 12.20pm, followed by a wake at DK Rugby Football Club.

Donations in his memory will go to Mary Stevens Hospice and the Georgina ward at Russells Hall Hospital.