Chandigarh, April 26 (IANS) Popular Glasgow businessman Amrik Singh, 84, the man who ran the London Marathon 26 times and graced various marathons around the world with his presence, has died after a four-day battle with coronavirus, his family said.
He came to Glasgow from India in the 1970s.
“Goodnight Amrik Singh. Gone but never forgotten. I hope to be able to do a fraction of the good and kindness you spread in the world. I hope you knew how loved you were at the end,” his grandson Paman Singh informed in a tweet.
Paying tributes in a series of tweets, he recalled his grandfather by saying, “Apart from helping people, his passion was for running. They might as well have based the running man part of Forrest Gump on him. He ran over 650 races, from 5k to 10k, to half-marathons to full marathons, even though he only picked up running in his late forties.
“Even in retirement, his routine was to wake up and be at the gym at 6 a.m. to pound the treadmill, all the way into his 80s, before going to help at the Gurdwara.
“He would raise funds and then travel and assist those who had no money suffering from eye problems. He wasn’t an ophthalmologist, he was a simple shopkeeper, but he was qualified to change bedsheets, and feed and bathe. He continued to do this until his final trip last month,” his grandson said.
For Paman Singh, his grandfather was utter inspiration and his best friend in life someone who empowered others to become better versions of themselves.
“I would never have become a Solicitor without him taking me under his wing and stopping me going off the rails,” he said.
Amrik Singh, the “founding father” of Scotland’s Sikh community, was admitted to a hospital last Sunday with symptom and he battled heroically, but eventually succumbed on April 23.
“From when he came over to the UK in the 60s, he remained steadfast in his faith — that of humanity. He faced up to the National Front and horrific racism with a smile, for him, these people weren’t enemies.”
He served Glasgow’s west end community for nigh on 35 years from his small shop, always ensuring that he made deliveries to elderly people.
“I remember him telling me when a man came into his shop and was hurling racist insults at him, but then was injured in a road accident just outside. My grandfather closed the shop and drove the man to the hospital himself and becoming friends with him,” he wrote in a tribute.
“This was only a small part of his life though. His main focus was on Seva — volunteering work.
“At the local Gurdwara, he would cheerfully wash the dishes of others, clean the toilets, and wipe down the shoes of those who came through the doors. Nothing was beneath him.
“He was the inspiration behind the Scottish Sikh Community’s drive to feed the disadvantaged and homeless regardless of beliefs, funding and setting up all manners of outreach support programmes, which is still going strong today,” the grandson added.