Double tragedy for Stebbings family

Two brothers who were leading cross country and steeplechase champions in their time have died of cancer within days of each other.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 25th October 2012, 9:00 am

Chris and Fred Stebbings were described as “irreplaceable” by Luton Athletic Club chairman Jack Walters.

He said: “They were absolute role models, the sort of men you meet once in a lifetime.

“Fred was vice chairman, a good officer, reliable and honest.

“Chris was manager of the cross country and road running team and had a great sense of humour. They were very valued and popular members of the club.”

Chris, 61, and Fred, 69, were the two youngest in a family of six, originally from Croydon.

Both were passionate about running and joined Croydon Harriers as teenagers.

Although they were close, they came to the area separately.

Fred joined Brook Bond in Redbourn, then worked for Glaxo as a mechanical engineer. Chris was a computer development manager before he retired and lived in Leighton Buzzard.

Fred was diagnosed with prostate cancer three years ago, while Chris became ill on holiday in France in the summer.

His wife Susan said: “He was diagnosed with liver cancer and died 15 weeks later.”

Only 19 days later Fred also died, leaving both families shell shocked by the double tragedy.

Chris had two daughters and a son.

His youngest daughter Katie said: “Dad was an inspirational, funny and supportive man.

“He was known for his passion for running, riding his motorcycle and supporting his family. He was hard working, committed and always there to help.

“He will be sorely missed but his way of thinking, making people laugh and caring for others will live on.”

Fred’s wife Jill who lives in Luton said: “He was very kind and gentle, he always had time for everyone.”

He leaves a daughter, Lucy, and son Simon who is also involved in LAC.