Eamonn Martin...Lion of Laindon

Eamonn with his Marathon Cup and two of his many medals. Commonwealth Gold and 10,000m Oslo 1988.

Michael Healy in his recent book ‘This is Basildon’ (2009) refers to Eamonn as being the ‘Lion of Laindon’. Although very amused Eamonn was unaware of the accolade.

After being passed many times around the hills and slopes of Langdon Hills and Dunton while training for the London Marathon, I can understand how Michael came up with the name. I am only pleased that I was always running in the opposite direction.

Eamonn was born in Basildon, attended Manor House Junior School and Fryerns Comprehesive. He excelled in all sports but in 1973 he became the English Schools Cross Country Champion at the age of 15, this made him decide to make a career in athletics instead of football.

On leaving school he qualified as an Engineer and worked for Ford Dunton Research from 1979 to 2001. He is still working for a company in Basildon as its Facility Manager.

His athletic achievements are endless:

  • 3 Olympic games
  • 2 World Athletics Championships
  • 2 Commonwealth Games
  • etc. etc.

However his major achievement that he is remembered for is winning on debut the 10,000m in Oslo in 1988 the 4th fastest time in history. 

Commonwealth 10,000m Gold in 1990. 1993 London Marathon, the last British male athlete to win it. 1995 Chicago Marathon and in 1999 he became the London Marathon Master Champion.

He moved to Laindon West in 1985 and to Langdon Hills in 2003. He is currently Chairman of the Basildon Athletic Club and a member of the Lords’ Taverners team who raise money to buy minibuses for handicapped children.

He has had an amazing career and fully deserves the accolade ‘Lion of Laindon’.

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  • In 1989-90 I was at Fords Dunton,
    I borrowed his desk while he was at some competition!

    By Clive Lamb (20/12/2020)
  • It is really nice to see Eamonn’s photos on here.  I used to go to his Basildon athletics club when I was 10 years old because I won my first open competition there.  I remember one day my school teacher introduced me to him after I won my first 3 AAA championship when I was 12 years and he signed his photo for me which I still have today.

    Eamonn was a person who inspired me through athletics, watching him on TV and becoming part of his club was amazing, even seeing him train.  It takes a lot of dedication and I am sure he will not be forgotten for many decades to come.  I wish him all the best with whatever he is doing today.

    By Maria Dodsworth, was (Cain) (10/08/2014)
  • I have no idea where the ‘Lion of Laindon’ nickname came from either. I will have to dig out my notes to find out where I got this from. Very amusing and interesting article!

    By Michael Healy (27/01/2013)

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