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In Memory of Cyril George Ballard 5th November 1917 – 29th April 2010.

Who inspired me to live life to the full, showing me that with love, determination and positivity, potential is infinite.

In Grandpa’s early professional life he worked as a Draughtsman for National Gas Turbine Establishment where he worked on the development of the first jet engine under Sir Frank Whittle.

Being an enthusiastic Rugby fan he reported on local rugby matches for the Leicester Mercury in his spare time. He believed sports to be “much more than just a game” he believed them to also be about “bringing people from different communities together, sharing success and sometimes sorrow”.

Before retiring in 1983 he was a Chief Engineering Draughtsman for G. Stibbe & Co; Manufacturers of Hosiery & Knitting Machines in Leicester where he contributed to the then thriving UK Textiles Industry for 44 years.

6 months after retiring & 4 weeks after my birth in 1983 he suffered a severe Stroke leaving him paralysed down his left-side. Fortunately, his sheer determination & positivity helped him to make a recovery along with the help of his wife Patricia, he learnt to live with his disabilities and continued to live an independent life surviving a further Stroke & subsequent Heart Attack.

Although Grandpa was poorly & his life was never the same again we feel extremely lucky to of had 27 further years with him. It was during these years he received ongoing support from the British Heart Foundation who provided him with numerous disability aids & equipment which helped improve his quality of life tremendously inspiring me to run the Edinburgh Marathon as a BHF Heart Runner.

Since passing away in April 2010 we have learnt of 3 Inventor Patents in Grandpa’s name for improvements to the design function of circular knitting machines. The fact we only learned of theses achievements since his passing is a testament to the modest, humble & inspirational gentleman he was.


Grandpa is an inspiration to me:

He’s inspired me to have a positive, glass half full approach to life.

He’s inspired me to travel & learn from the world around me.

He’s inspired me to try and help other people.

He’s inspired me to write about my marathon training via social networks as he believed keeping up to date with technology to be paramount for our generation.

He’s inspired me to run Edinburgh Marathon, raising money for BHF, a charity he experienced first hand to be worthy of its cause.



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