Sports legends 1985 World Snooker Champion Dennis Taylor and three times Olympic Champion and World Champion runner Eamon Coghlan at Mijas Golf Club

By Andrew Atkinson

1985 World Snooker Champion Dennis Taylor, 72, played Mijas Golf Club with son Cameron and three times Olympic Champion and World Champion runner Eamon Coghlan, 68.

Taylor, who defeated Steve Davis 18-17 at The Crucible to lift the World Snooker title, took up commentary after retirement.

His son Damien is a professional golf coach.

Coghlan had a successful amateur running career in Ireland, leading to a scholarship in the United States, where he won four NCAA titles in track running; running a sub-four-minute mile to set an Irish record, aged 22.

Coghlan who set the European record over the distance is nicknamed, ‘The Chairman of the Boards’, on the back of his success on the US indoor circuit.

He broke the indoor mile world record on three occasions, and set a world indoor record over 2,000m.

Coghlan finished fourth in the 1500 Metres at the 1976 Summer Olympics; finished fourth in the 5,000m at the 1980 Summer Olympics, and made the 5,000m semi-final in his last Olympic appearance at the 1988 Summer Olympics. He experienced greater success in the 1,500m at the European Athletics Championships, winning the 1,500m at the 1979 European Athletics Indoor Championships, and outdoors took silver in the event at the 1978 European Athletics Championships.

He was also the 5,000m champion at the IAAF World Cup in 1981 and became the world 5,000 metres champion at the 1983 World Championships in Athletics.

Upon retirement, he continued to race and became the first man over 40 years old to run a sub-four-minute mile.

In May 2011, Coghlan was appointed as a Senator by the Taoiseach Enda Kenny.

He and his wife, Yvonne, have four children, and youngest son, John, is one of Ireland’s leading athletes who won a team gold medal in the European Cross-Country Championships in Portugal in 2010.

Eldest son, Eamonn, is a golf professional at Hearthstone Country Club, Houston, Texas.

Coghlan works as director of fundraising (North America) for the Children’s Medical & Research Foundation, and Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Dublin.

He coaches Irish international runners, including David Campbell, David Fitzmaurice and his son John.

Caption: 1985 World Snooker Champion Dennis Taylor played Mijas Golf Club with son Cameron and three times Olympic champion and World champion runner Eamon Coghlan.

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