British Athletics is shocked and saddened to confirm the loss of our friend and former colleague Neil Black who passed away suddenly at the weekend.
Neil loved the sport of athletics and dedicated his life to supporting athletes – as a world class physiotherapist, as head of sport science, and then in recent years as Performance Director for British Athletics.
Since leaving the role of UKA Performance Director in October 2019, he had been continuing to support a number of athletes and coaches as an advisor.
Neil will be hugely missed by those that knew and worked with him. Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this difficult time.
Further Comment from Neil Black’s family:
We would like to thank people for the wonderful and heartfelt messages we have received. So many people have been in touch, it is clear to us how loved Neil was and this is bringing us some comfort at this time.
You’ll be missed’ – tributes to Black – BBC Sport
World champion Dina Asher-Smith said on social media: “Incredibly sad and shocking news. I really can’t believe it. He was a genuinely lovely, caring and kind-hearted man whose sense of humour and positivity would light up a room. Rest in peace Neil; you’ll be dearly missed by all and my thoughts are with your family at this time.”
Former heptathlon bronze medallist Kelly Sotherton tweeted: “He came everywhere with me and made sure I was held together physically and mentally. So many things I want to say… I’ll miss you forever Neil Black.”
Chris Tomlinson, the former long jumper, also paid tribute on social media: “Such sad news to hear of the passing of Neil Black. He was both my physio and team manager for many years. RIP.”
Five-time Paralympic champion Hannah Cockroft wrote: “Such a great guy, always made time to come chat to me and see how I was getting on when he passed me, and always took a true interest in my training and in my sport. RIP Neil, you’ll be missed.”
Pole vaulter Holly Bradshaw said: “This news is so sad. Neil was such a special and incredible person who did so much for myself and athletics in the UK. Tremendous leader, sensational personality and just a genuinely nice guy. Neil you will be missed – rest in peace.”
Paralympic champion Jo Butterfield said: “What a shock to wake up to this news this morning. Thoughts are with his loved ones right now. One of the most genuine caring men… always made time for everyone.”
High jumper Morgan Lake added her tribute: “Such terribly sad news. Neil was always so supportive and knew how to bring a team of athletes together and make us feel at ease, especially at major championships. Rest in Peace, my thoughts are with his loved ones.”
Paralympic champion Aled Sion Davies said: “Horrendous news, great man, full of passion…life really is too short.”