Leslie Pulman  1929 – 2024 obituary and funeral details

We are saddened to report the passing of TVH club legend Leslie Pulman on 11th March 2024 aged 94.

The funeral will take place on Monday 25th March 1:15pm at All Saints Church, Gosforth Lane, Watford, WD19 7AX, followed by the cremation service at Breakspear Crematorium, Breakspear Road, Ruislip HA4 7SJ at 3:00pm. Tea/coffee and cake will be served back at the church after the service, there is no dress code.

Leslie’s introduction to running competitively came at the age of 17 when he was an aeronautical engineering apprentice at Fairey Aviation in Hayes and was persuaded to take part in a 3 mile road race. Finishing in the top 3 Leslie was spotted by a TVH athlete and joined the club in May 1947.  Leslie was soon captain of the work’s team at Fairey while concentrating on racing middle distance and cross country at TVH. His athletics achievements include a best of 15:15 for 3 miles. After his National Service in Egypt in 1953-55 he returned to TVH as an athlete and started many years managing teams, spending  7 years as the Summer Captain managing and organising the track & field teams, including trips to compete in Sweden and Holland and the return visits for those clubs to compete in London.

Amongst many other tasks at TVH he organised the TVH road relays and it was a shock to the club in 1963 when he moved to Stoke on Trent to set up a business. Leslie was soon coaching at Stoke AC where he met his wife to be Margaret, who rose to 6th place in the UK shot and discus rankings. They were married for 47 years until Margaret’s death and their son Neil was born during the time Margaret took up running after retiring as a competitive throws athlete. After 3 years in Stoke, Leslie returned to London and TVH with Margaret joining London Olympiades  AC (as there were separate male and female athletics clubs then) and Leslie took on the role of coaching young athletes at TVH while still running for the club throughout the year.

In the 1970s Leslie became the club Winter Captain and spent more than 20 years managing cross country and road racing teams. When I  (John H) joined TVH in 1989, Leslie was road running team manager and went out of his way to welcome me to the club, gave me lifts to races and offered me advice on training. Leslie is remembered by many other TVH athletes as the first person at the club who was so welcoming to them, he always knew the names of every athlete and was very supportive, helping them in many different ways ranging from driving lessons to helping during times of bereavement.

Second from right in 1976

Leslie served as the TVH President in 1980 – 1982 during which time the clubhouse built by club members opened at West London Stadium (now Linford Christie Stadium) and in a notable athletics achievement, TVH won the Junior (U20) National Cross Country team title. He continued to run for the club in the 1990s, well known for liking to race in an old TVH vest (possibly his original one) which by that time was full of holes.

1980s road running team
Leslie wearing his TVH tie with Barrie Saunders in 2015