Phil Richard death: Hall of Fame powerlifting champion dies aged 52

Phil Richard won numerous European and British titles and set various records along the way during a vastly successful career
Former junior and masters world powerlifting champion Phil Richard has died at the age of 52.Former junior and masters world powerlifting champion Phil Richard has died at the age of 52.
Former junior and masters world powerlifting champion Phil Richard has died at the age of 52.

Legendary British powerlifter and EPF Hall of Famer Phil Richard has died at the age of 52. The Welshman, who was born in Swansea, spent the majority of his life in powerlifting and first began competing in the sport in 1984 when he was just 13-years-old. Over the course of his incredible career he became a junior world champion three-time and masters champion on four occasions.

Throughout his career he won several British and European titles and set various records. He was also rewarded with a place in the Hall of Fame in 2018 for his achievements. Away from powerlifting, Richard also worked as a senior process technician in the mining industry. He opted to miss last year's World Championships for financial and family reasons but, in an interview with BBC Sport Wales last year, said he had planned to bring another world title back to Wales this year.

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Those close to him have described Richard as the life and soul of the party and BarBend reports that he was someone who would always give hand to help an inexperienced lifter or offer encouragement. When not lifting, he could usually be found at a competition, coaching, spotting and loading, or refereeing. International Powerlifting Federation president Gaston Parage paid tribute to Richard on social media.

"Phil was a British Powerlifting and EPF (European Powerlifting Federation) hall of famer and was a long-standing proponent of equipped powerlifting," Parage said. "Phil was well known and well liked throughout the powerlifting community and he will be sadly missed."

Fellow British lifter Tony Cliffe commented: “[Richard] was inspirational for me as a stalwart of the British team when I started lifting, he was so supportive, encouraging and everything you’d want from a role model, he was also fun to be around and would lift the mood no matter the circumstances.”

Richard is survived by his daughter and two sons. The cause of the 52-year-old’s death is not currently known,  his death has come as a huge shock to the community as he remained a powerlifter at the top of his game. Moreover, as per his Instagram, Phil was regularly in the gym, and also often completing long walks, adding to his activity levels.

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