John Nuttall: Tributes paid to former British Olympic athlete & coach who dies aged 56 after heart attack
John Nuttall, a former British Olympic athlete and coach, has died aged 56 after a heart attack.
Tributes have poured in for John Nuttall, a former British Olympic long-distance runner and coach, who has died at the age of 56 after a heart attack. The 1994 5000m Commonwealth bronze medallist died on Thursday (November 9), according to his wife Liz McColgan who described him as a “much loved dad, son, brother and husband".
Ms McColgan, who is 1991 10,000 world champion, wrote on Instagram: “It is with great sadness and a heavy heart as I write this. My husband John Nuttall died yesterday morning with a sudden heart attack. A much loved dad, son, brother and husband. For those that loved John our hearts are breaking.”
His daughter, Hannah Nuttall, a British middle-distance athlete, also took to Instagram to express her sadness: "I cannot believe that this day has came so soon and unexpected and that you are no longer with us, my heart is completely broken.
“You were my voice of reason, my support system and my number one supporter in all aspects of my life. You were so fun to be around. You achieved so many things throughout your life and will always be my role model.
“You will be remembered for all of your achievements in athletics, mentoring, coaching and supporting so many athletes in their own journeys, your ability to help others and provide guidance was like no other, you were a great Dad and I wouldn’t be where I am without you. I know you are looking over us and I will do you proud.”
Nuttall's stepdaughter Eilish McColgan, who is the 10,000m British women's record holder, wrote on Instagram: "It's hard to find the words right now. Our family suffered a huge loss yesterday with the sudden passing of my stepfather John.
"We've spent the last six weeks here in Doha, with my mum and John, and so his passing has been a huge shock. We are still trying to process it. There is such a huge outpouring of love from both Doha and everyone back home in the UK. It just reinforces how many people thought so highly of him. He will be missed by us all."
Nuttall competed for Great Britain in five World Cross Country Championships and two World Championships (1993 and 1995). He was also an Olympic athlete for Great Britain in Atlanta in 1996.
After retiring, he served as an endurance coach at UK Athletics until he joined Liz, the 1988 Olympic silver medallist, at the Aspire Academy in Qatar in 2013.
In a statement on Friday, UK Athletics said: "Everyone at UKA is deeply saddened by the sudden passing of our former colleague John Nuttall. His loss is felt deeply by friends and colleagues here at UKA who worked alongside and knew John. Our thoughts are very much with his family and close friends at this time."