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Moorcroft and Pippa Jones, who was third in the 1980 British Olympic Trials in the women's 100-meter breast-stroke, were the first employees of the trust. "Took two and a half years to become registered as a charity with the government," Moorcroft says, "because it's hard to be thought of as truly charitable when you're involved with sport. But in the inner city, sport is considered educational."
As he speaks, a man comes in and attaches metal brackets to the already burdened wall. He clips on a fire extinguisher. "We were about to be condemned by the fire brigade," says Moorcroft. "Anyway, some of the board may have highfalutin ideas of us discovering Olympic medalists in time for Los Angeles, but it's not that simple. The important thing is to help people fulfill individual potential.
"And, too," he continues, "everyone here understands the demands of my own running and forgives me for training a month or two in New Zealand during the worst of the winter. But the satisfying part of the work, for me, is being able to encourage a lot of kids to keep going. It's a pastoral role, taking the part of parents they might not have."
Moorcroft's own parents, he says, gave him no cause to hunt for surrogates. "We'll go see them later." His father, Robert, is an executive with Massey-Ferguson, the farm machinery firm. "He was the one who always encouraged me, from the time I began cross-country at 11 and before that in swimming and rugby."
"Didn't your mother?"
"Well, she was always protective. She said it wasn't fair. 'They're bigger than you' or 'Those nasty older boys shouldn't be in the race with you.' She used to believe I lost because she came to watch. But I lost then because I usually lost. It will be fun to talk about it now."
The phone draws him away. It is Robert Jackson of IMG (International Management Group), Coe's agent. Moorcroft listens patiently, his face open and curious. He has widely set dark blue eyes, a casual mop of hair and favors jeans and sweaters. His only ornament is his heavy gold wedding ring. "I don't want to get involved with agents," he is saying. "I probably only have two more years of good track racing to do, and I just want to carry on with the system and the races that I've thought important...." At length he's allowed to hang up the phone.
"After the record everyone said, 'Get an agent, get an agent.' I said no. I know the advantages of being represented, of having someone digging up endorsements or lucrative races. But there are a few opportunities even without one. The difference is whether you want to be a millionaire or you want to be comfortable. I'm sure if I'd run the record at 21 or 22 I'd have gone commercial, but now I just want to be normal. It was being normal that got me the record in the first place."
After work Moorcroft collects Paul, 18 months old, and drives to the comfortable two-story house he grew up in on the Kenpas Highway. "This was the main road to Birmingham before the motorway. I used to run 800-meter repetitions on the pavement in front of the house."
Milly, his mum, greets him and seizes Paul, who shouts and produces a Milton Berle grin. "Paul has both my and Linda's teeth," says Moorcroft. "A fair set of gnashers."