Guttmann inducted into athletics hall of fame

Paul Dickenson presenting the England Athletics Hall of Fame award to Poppa Guttmann's daughter, Eva Loeffler (pic Mark Shearman)
Paul Dickenson presenting the England Athletics Hall of Fame award to Poppa Guttmann's daughter, Eva Loeffler (pic Mark Shearman)
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Sir Ludwig Guttmann, the Stoke Mandeville Hospital doctor who founded the Paralympic Games, has been inducted into the England Athletics Hall of Fame.

The legendary professor, who died in 1980 aged 80, was one of just nine people honoured at Birmingham’s NEC for their outstanding contribution to athletics.

The induction award for Sir Ludwig - a Hall of Fame trophy - was presented to his daughter Eva Loeffler by BBC commentator Paul Dickenson.

Mr Dickenson, from Hazlemere, who is on the Hall of Fame panel, said the growth of disabled sport and the Paralympics was due to Sir Ludwig.

“He was the guy who started it all off. It’s come a long way since then, but he was solely responsible for starting it off. He was a real star,” he said.

He added Poppa’s daughter was ‘over the moon’ to receive the accolade.

England Athletics is the governing body for athletics in the country.

Its Chief Executive Chris Jones said: “The England Athletics Hall of Fame is there to enable us to recognise and draw inspiration from those individuals who have made a profound impact on the sport of athletics in England.

“In being inducted, Prof Sir Ludwig Guttmann joins the likes of Lord Coe, Dame Kelly Holmes, Sally Gunnell, Sir Roger Bannister and Daley Thompson.

“He also joins two of our greatest ever Paralympic athletes, Noel Thatcher and David Holding.

“His work paved the way for what they achieved.

“I am conscious that Sir Ludwig’s work has not only benefited athletics. However, it is fitting that we as a sport have recognised the contribution that he has made to athletics and the debt of gratitude we owe him.”

Carl Etholen, chairman of Bucks Legacy Board, said: “We are thrilled to hear that Sir Ludwig has deservedly been honoured in this way.

“This richly befits a man whose legacy lives on so powerfully today.”