Athletics community reacts to news that the former agent, team manager and BBC broadcaster has died

Tributes have been paid to Maurie Plant following the news that the former agent, team manager and BBC broadcaster has died.

Plant was a familiar face to athletes on the international circuit over many years, with David Monti of Race Results Weekly describing him as “the ultimate track guy”.

“Always loved chatting with Maurie,” Monti added. “He was really suffering after multiple strokes and kidney failure. There is some solace for his friends and family that his suffering has ended.”

According to EME NEWS, Plant, 66, died at St Vincent’s Hospital in Melbourne and had been on life support for three weeks.

Olympic 3000m silver medallist and MD at Great Run Publishing Wendy Sly, who is pictured with Plant above, told AW: “Maurie has been a part of athletics for as long as I can remember. His passion for the sport shone through no matter what role he played; whether as an agent, working for the BBC, or, more recently, as part of the 2021 World Cross team.

“The sport will miss his knowledge and his constant wit. He was one of the funniest men I have ever met.”

Two-time Olympic 1500m gold medallist and World Athletics president Seb Coe was also among those share tributes on social media and said: “Athletics has lost one of its truest and passionate friends and so many of us have lost a great mate. Maurie Plant we will miss you so much.”

European Athletics president Svein Arne Hansen wrote: “Saddened beyond words to hear of the passing of my great friend Maurie Plant. He was a friend, confidant, advisor and work colleague on the Bislett Games for many years. Taken far too soon he will be dearly missed by all who were lucky to know him. Sleep well Maurie.”

A statement from Athletics Australia reads: “We are incredibly sad to hear the passing of Mr Athletics, Maurie Plant.⁣ ⁣Maurie has been instrumental in athletics around the world and guided numerous athletes to success.⁣ Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends. Rest In Peace Maurie.”

Australia’s Olympic and world 400m gold medallist Cathy Freeman said: “RIP Maurie Plant. If you were lucky enough to know him, his presence, personality and charm just sucked you right in. The mark you made in my life both as an athlete and as a friend was extraordinary. I love you, Maurice, and will miss you terribly. You’ll be forever in our hearts.”

While Australia’s Olympic and world 100m hurdles champion Sally Pearson said: “My agent and mentor but first and foremost my dear friend Maurie Plant. The sadness has hit and the tears are flowing. You’ll hate the fuss but it’s a must as we all come to terms with losing the best there was in our sport. We will miss you MP.”

Britain’s Olympic and world 200m fourth-placer Adam Gemili wrote: “This is such sad news for all those in the athletics community. Maurie was just the best. Plain and simple! So real, caring and a face everyone loved to see on the circuit. Always making people smile and laugh. RIP Maurie – You will be greatly missed.”

Journalist and coach Mike Hurst, who was one of the first to announce Plant’s death, said the news was a “devastating blow to his family and terrible loss to Australia’s athletes and coaches so many of whom he has guided for the last 40 years as a T&F manager/agent.”

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