OBITUARY: Margaret Allen

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Margaret Allen, a winner of 30 national individual and team time trial titles between 1967 and 1994, has died suddenly at the age of 79.

She was on holiday at Alford, Lincolnshire, when she was taken ill with a suspected thrombosis, and died in hospital at Boston.

Margaret Allen (née Larkin) was from a well-known Yorkshire cycling family. Born in January 1945, she started riding at the age of 11 when she first met future world champion Beryl Burton, eight years her senior.

Her first competitive rides were with South Elmsall Social CC in 1961, and at 19 she finished second to Burton in the national 100-mile championship and third in the British Best All-Rounder competition. Switching to Birdwell Wheelers, she took second place to Beryl in the national 50 in 1965.

Margaret Allen, second right.

She transferred to Morley CC, where in 1967 she backed Burton in the winning team at 25, 50 and 100 miles. She gained 11 championship and BAR team awards before she retired to raise a family. She returned to the sport in 1982, leading Barnsley RC to 15 national team prizes.

Allen’s best year was 1987, when she won the women’s BAR title with an average speed of 25.687mph over 25, 50 and 100 miles, retaining the all-rounder title in 1988 and taking the team title with the backing of her sister Maureen Pearson and the unrelated Debbie Pearson. In 1989 she led Knaresborough CC to the team with Sally Boyden (née Whitfield) and Debbie Pearson.

Individually, Allen won the ten-mile title in 1990, the 25 in 1988, the 50 in 1988 and 1990 and the 100 in 1989 and 1991.

In the decade to 1993 she was eight times a member of the winning team at ten miles, and her final title was in 1994 when she was a member of the Askern CC team at 50 miles.

Her funeral will be at St John’s Church, Cudworth, near Barnsley, at 12 noon on Tuesday, 16th July, followed by a gathering at Shafton Working Men's Club, High Street, Shafton S72 8QA.

Words: Graham Snowdon / Snowdon Sports.