It is with deep regret that we report the death of Major John “Spud” Leaning one of the greats in the family of British Biathlon.  He was a team member of the Army Champions on 3 occasions and he represented Great Britain in Biathlon the 1968 Winter Olympic Winter Games.  When he retired from the Royal Artillery in 1987 he became the Director of Biathlon and Nordic for the British Ski Federation until 1996 and was the Team Manager at the Winter Olympic Games in 1988,1992 and 1994.

For many years Spud held a number of voluntary positions in the International Biathlon Union (IBU), the International Ski Federation (FIS) and the British Paralympic Association. But it is for his role in the forming the IBU and in particular, as a founding Board Member of the British Biathlon Union in 1996, that he is best remembered by the current generation of Army and GBR biathletes. He remained on the BBU Board for 6 years and, without his expertise and in particular his ability to call on a vast number of contacts in the sporting world as a whole, it is doubtful that the BBU would have survived its early years.

Spud was 82 and had skied, racing or recreationally, every year for the last 60 years.  The BBU extends its deepest sympathies to all his family.  His Funeral has been confirmed for 11am on Monday 19th August at St Mary Magdalene Church, South Molton, Devon. More details will be announced in the Daily Telegraph imminently.