Ebbw Vale Leisure Centre – Give It The Right Name

HE once held the world record for the fastest time running a marathon.

And he still holds the men’s British record, 25 years after completing the 1985 Chicago Marathon in just two hours, seven minutes and 13 seconds.

This group is dedicated to Ebbw Vale, Welsh and British running Legend Steve Jones who held the world marathon record and has been the British record holder since october 1984. The aim of this group is to get the new leisure centre in Ebbw Vale named after him. He was born in Tredegar.

But how many people actually know about the successes of Steve Jones?

Even more significantly, how many know that he was born in Tredegar and grew up in Ebbw Vale?

A campaign has now been launched by a veteran runner – who admits Steve is a lifelong hero of his – to ensure he receives the recognition he deserves in his home county on the 25th anniversary of the record-setting.

Lee Aherne, 44, from Dukestown, Tredegar, who used to run himself during Steve Jones’ heyday, said: “To me he’s the best athlete that Wales – never mind Blaenau Gwent – has ever produced.

“The lack of interest shown in Steve is astounding. When I have asked people and they haven’t even known who he is, I’ve thought ‘this isn’t right!’

“In the US, they have statues and streets named after their sporting heroes, and here we have got nothing.”

Steve, who is now 54 and living in Colorado, USA, used to run for the Newport Harriers, and as he was in the Royal Air Force, he would represent them at running too.

One of the biggest moments in his career was winning the Chicago Marathon in 1984, coming in at two hours, eight minutes and five seconds, breaking the world record of Australian Robert de Castella by 13 seconds.

It was the year after that he broke his own record to create his current British record.

Steve, who was born in St James’ Hospital, Tredegar, was also the first Welsh athlete to appear on the cover of the prestigious running magazine Running Times.

Lee Aherne said: “He was amazing in his heyday.

“He did all the local runs, including the Trefil run, and supported the area.

Lee has now started a group on Facebook to rally support for his campaign, which already has around 170 members including Henry K Rono, the Kenyan runner who broke four world records in 81 days back in 1978 and has shared his own memories of Steve Jones.

To get involved join the group ‘Steve Jones 2:07:13 marathon’.

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