Tributes have been paid to Watford Joggers president Harvey Jaquest after he passed away at the age of 85.

Harvey was a founding member of the Joggers and devoted a major part of his life to athletics, having been a member of Watford Harriers for more than 60 years.

Joggers chairman Colin Taylor said: “Watford Joggers are coming to terms with the sad loss of their president Harvey Jaquest.

“Harvey, a founder member some 37 years ago and chairman for many years led the development of our club from its humble beginnings to the thriving club it is today.

“Harvey personally oversaw the training and development of many fine athletes along the way but gave the same time and commitment to club runners of all abilities. He had a long association with athletics having coached international athletes on track and road running and was more recently head coach of the UKA Ultra squad.

“As an athlete he will be missed, winning many medals at European and World veteran championships. Uncountable members of Watford Joggers have benefited from Harvey’s advice, infectious enthusiasm and exceptional coaching. He will be greatly missed by all associated with Watford Joggers. Our thoughts are with his family at this sad time.”

Harvey was a level four coach and worked with a number of national champions and international athletes over the years including Jean Sorrell, John Merriman and Danielle Sanderson.

Jean Sorrell (nee Dunbar) insists she would not have achieved any of her success in the sport without Harvey’s help.

Jean, who knew Harvey for more than 50 years, said: “I was just an ordinary runner when I met Harvey. He was a really good coach because he didn’t push you too hard. I wouldn’t have become an international if it wasn’t for Harvey.

“He was just so encouraging and he didn’t just concentrate on the good athletes. He never wrote anyone off and worked with everyone and always encouraged them. He was very sincere and extremely dedicated to his sport.

“I wouldn’t have got anywhere without Harvey. He was just always part of my life and I’ve lost a lifelong friend.”

A minute’s silence was held before Sunday’s Watford Half Marathon for both Harvey and Malcolm Burnham, who was a member of the Harriers for more than 50 years.

Race organiser and active Watford Harrier member Richard Parles said: “Harvey will be greatly missed by all in the local athletics fraternity, he made a major contribution to athletics in the Watford area and was always prepared to spend time encouraging and advising runners regardless of their ability.”