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Who was Jos Verstockt ?

Jos Verstockt, figurehead of AC Lyra vzw

Jos Verstockt was born on 27 May in Lier.
After being active as soccer player at Lyra TSV, he joined AC Lyra as athlete in 1947, immediately after its foundation. His first competition was in 1950 at Elsene were he ran a 3000 m race in 10’33”.  During the remainder of his career, he received several honorable mentions at the 1500 and 3000 m, and became champion of the Province at distance events for 5 times.

In the early sixties, he became part of the board, and was the secretary for almost 40 years.
During this period, he was the driving force behind the organization ‘Grand Prix de Lier’, a high level cross country meeting. Under the impetus of Jos, the asphalt track at the Cadet Corps of Lier was exchanged for a magnificent ‘Mondo’-track, and the stadium received its name ‘Netestadion’.

As of 1967, he started his career as coach, beginning as coach for the women to promote later to head coach. His most famous athletes, which gained numerous national titles were Gerd Verhoeven, Marina Heyman, Noella De Feyter and Sarah Mees.
Also as a team, he achieved great results at the National team championship relays at the Wellington-renbaan in Oostende. In 1997, as part of the 50 years of existence of AC Lyra, Jos was elected as ‘Athlete of Lier’.

After Jos resigned from the board in 2000, this to allow for a rejuvenation, he passed away on 5 February 2002.

To honor his dedicated work for the club, the board decided to organize from 2003 an open meeting named ‘Memorial Jos Verstockt’.
This athletics meeting grew over the years towards an International meeting and has received the label ‘Flanders Cup’ as of 2019.


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