Clydesdale Harriers Sports: 1911- 1914

Alex Justice

“The Annual Sports were held at Ibrox on 27th May, 1911, and were very successful from an athletics standpoint.   Boxing and Wrestling contests were included in the programme, and not only were we able to make ends meet, but we cleared a few pounds as a result.”

“With the exception of R Quinn’s two miles record in the walking competition nothing striking was witnessed at the Clydesdale Harriers Sports at Ibrox Park on Saturday” was how the Glasgow Herald began its coverage of the sports.   It was however a good meeting with several current or future Scottish champions taking part – eg the half mile had A McPhee of Clydesdale Harriers and George Dallas of Maryhill among the finalists but they were unplaced with victory going to Clydesdale’s Maguire.

“The Annual Sports at Ibrox, on 25th May, were very successful from every point of view.   We held a second meeting at Clydebank and, although the weather was unfavourable, we came out on the right side financially, while athletically we created a record, being the only Club in Scotland to hold two Open Athletic Meetings in one season.”

This was all very well but the reports of the event did not indicate any real class athletes taking part.    The competition was good and the crowd found the events ‘riveting’.  Certainly the numbers of entries were satisfactory – there were exactly 100 for the 100 yards  There was a three miles flat handicap won by Hughes (West of Scotland) – a popular win     P McGregor of Clydesdale won the open half mile off 48 yards but  there was more coverage given to WM Crabbie of Edinburgh Academicals (20 yards) who was a provisional selection for the Olympic Games.   Crabbie won his heat but apparently did not show the same judgment in the final, although reports also said that he was ‘jostled’ once or twice, and lost when he might have won.   Allan Glen’s School won the relay race and their high jumper W Weir won the event with a 5’4″ clearance.   The two miles walk was won by Clydesdale’s Alex Justice who seemed at this point to be the perennial runner-up (walker-up?) to Motherwell’s Quin.   Quin had the better of him but when Quin was absent, Justice usually was able to beat all comers.   

“Our Annual Sports meeting, held at Ibrox Park on 31st May, 1913, was an unqualified success.   From an athletic standpoint nothing better could be desired, while thanks chiefly to the special attraction of the International Boxing Match, the club came out well on the right side financially.   

We held a second meeting at Clydebank, on 21st June, which was athletically a great success.   Unfortunately, owing to counter attractions in the district on the same day, the attendance was not as good as expected, and the club lost a few pounds on the venture.” 

The 31st May meeting was ‘favoured with excellent weather’ and there were between 2000 and 3000 spectators.   There were 96 entries in the 100, 73 in the 220 and 56 in the half mile.   There was a two miles team race for teams eligible to run in a district cross-country race, and six schools – Allan Glen’s, Bellahouston Academy, Dumbarton Academy, John Street Higher Grade School, Paisley Grammar and St Aloysius College – contested a relay race.   There were not one but two boxing matches.   Unfortunately, due to the track being remodelled, the events were run on the grass.    The Two Miles was won by Bellahouston from Clydesdale with Greenock Glenpark Harriers third.   The individual winner was Duncan McPhee of Clydesdale from Lindsay of Bellahouston.   

Duncan McPhee

The 1914 meeting was held on 30th May.   It was the old story – a good programme but with a disappointing attendance.   Entries were big and races close but the crowds were absent.   In the 100 yards there were 24 heats and 4 semi-finals and in the other event with a very big turn out, George Dallas of Maryhill and West of Scotland won off 14 yards from  Duncan McPhee (Clydesdale Harriers and West of Scotland, scratch) .   In the two miles team race Greenock Glenpark defeated Clydesdale Harriers (the reverse of other races that summer).   Alex Justice (Clydesdale Harriers) won the One Mile walk off scratch in a new Scottish record of 6:42.4.   Allan Glen’s won the schools relay from Hillhead High School. 

By the end of May 1915 hostilities had been continuing for some time and the Clydesdale date at the end of May was being used by Morton FC at Cappielow Park where before an attendance of over 4000 the competitors, of whom the reporter said many were under-trained, there was some good sport.   There was a 100 yards, 220 yards, 880 yards, two miles and a five a side tournament featuring Morton, Clyde, Queen’s Park, Rangers, Celtic, St Mirren and Third Lanark.   Morton beat Rangers in the final by 3 goals to none.   

George Dallas (right)

Clydesdale Harriers decided at a Committee Meeting later in 1918 to suspend all activities sine die for the duration of the War and although there were sports meetings held during the War, most including races confined to servicemen or organised as a means of raising money for the War Effort in some way or other (see the pages on this site about the Rangers FC and Celtic FC Sports at the time), all serious sports meetings were suspended.


Summit HS, October 2018

Captured at the 6A Oregon State XC Championships on November 03, 2018 by Matthew Lasala


Jim tells us that the same very successful girls are eligible for the same age group next year again.   We can look at their last two meets for an indication of just how good they all are.

The headline for the 30th September meeting read: “Girls won Danner Invite and JV championships went 1-5 to perfect score – good day for the girls – boys still on the upswing.”

It was indeed a good day for the girls with victory in the Danner invitational where the top girls were Fiona Max (2), Teaghan Knox (6), Kelsey Gripehoven (11), 14 Isabel Max, Azza Swanson (15) and Jasper Fievet in 26th place.   The points for the team were 38 and the second team was well back with 101 points.   The equivalent Boys’ team was fifth out of 22 teams invited to compete with Zachey Weber fourth and best team runner on the day.   The Girls Junior Varsity team over 5000m was well clear of the opposition taking the firt five places in the race.   Top runners were Magdalene Williams, Ashley Boone, Liv Dowling, Ellie Skiersaa and Jorun Downing.   They won with 15 points to nearest rivals 65.   The Boys team was sixth out of 31 competing squads.  Top man finished fourth (Will Lange).   

It was a big event with 19 races in all and the results of every race, including split times for all runners, were available almost immediately online.   We could maybe take a lesson therefrom.

The next meeting was the Oxford Classic ten days later and there were six races in all with Summit teams out in four of them.    The Junior Varsity girls did as well as they could and won the race with Magdalene, Ashley and Jorun the first three across the finish line.   Zoe Villano was 9th and Sophia Segesta 14th.   Team points were 28 to  second place Bend’s 49.    The Junior Varsity 5000m race saw the girls win convincingly – with runners placed 1, 3, 5, 6, 7, 9 and a team total of 22 they won by 76 points from Capital.   Top competitors in this one were (in order) Fiona Max, Teaghan Knox, Kelsey Gripekoven, Jasper Fievat, Isabel Max and Stella Skovborg.   The Varsity  5000m,  boys’ team won their race by 63 to 74.   Their top runners were Zachry Weber in sixth, Sam Hatfield in seventh and Joseph Sortor in 14th.    If the Boys were on an upswing, well the Junior Varsity 5000, showed that they had maybe swung up!   The team was first by 46 points from Bend with the top performers finishing 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 10.   The heroes were, in finishing order, Mason Kissell, Nathaniel Henson, Jaden McCabe, Jesse Vanderborn, Jackson Keefer, and Connor Bellusci.   Four races, four team victories, three individual first places and three races where the top two or three Summit athletes were battling each other for first place.   For instance in the girls JV Gold race winner Magdalene’s time was 20:14.72 against second placed Ashley’s 20:14.91 – less than two tenths of a second in it.   Great stuff!
If you want to read more about Scotsman Jim McLatchie as a coach at all levels from college coach to coach of Olympic runners (plural) have a look  here      Or even as a Scottish international runner himself, then look  at this link

Captured at Oxford Classic XC race on October 05, 2018 by Matthew Lasala

The Pacific Cross-Country Classic was held at Lents Park on 13th October and Jim’s comments on this one were that Summit ran in the Gold groups where the Girls , and I quote, “Throttled the Opposition with 4 girls running under 18 minutes.   He also pointed out that Fiona Max and Stella Skovborg had been under the weather all week.   This is the time of year when they start passing germs around.   Funny that – it seems to be common wherever young runners are in training: I’ve had runners at various Scottish Universities as well as on Scholarships to the States and it has been a mild problem for many of them.   One University coach tells young students that several of them will catch a cold after six weeks – and they do.   It’s usually just a stress reaction and not significant but it’s a nuisance for the coach and the team.  The thing, as Jim says, is to try to minimise the effect, keep them healthy for (a) the State championships, and (b) the Regional Qualifier for the Nationals.   Results:

Girls Varsity Gold, 5000m:   Summit 27 points; St Mary’s 146,  21 Teams competing.

2nd Fiona Max  17:28.6;  3rd  Teaghan Knox 17:47.3;  6th  Kelsey Gripekoven 17:53.6;  7th Isabel Max  17:57.4;  9th Azza Swanson 18:08.7.

Captured at Oxford Classic XC race on October 05, 2018 by Matthew Lasala

The Junior Varsity Girls Gold Group:  Summit 3rd (88 points) behind Lincoln (66) and Sunset 67.   17 teams finished.   

1st Jorun Downing 10:-8.8;   2nd Ashley Boone 19:10.8;  3rd Ellie Skjersaa 19:21.6; 38th  Zoe Villano  21:35.5;  45th Sophia Segesta  21:52.9; 46th Megan Lasala 21:53.1

The Boys were also in the Varsity Gold Group and finished a respectable sixth with 167 points out of 19 teams.   Top Summit man was Joseph Sortor in 16:13.3 (27th) followed by Robert Gorman, Nathaniel Henson and Sam Timms.   The Junior Varsity Boys were second team (50 points) – closer to winners Sunset (33) than to third team Camas on 80.   16 teams took part.   Result:

6th Will Lange 17:08.7;  9th Jaden McCabe 17:11.0;  10th  Jackson Keefer  17:11.2; 14th Parker Meredith  17:21,1;  15th Dhruva Sogal  17:21.3.    

Captured at Oxford Classic XC race on October 05, 2018 by Matthew Lasala

There’s a lot of talent in Summit now, and it tales talent on the part of the coach to develop it.   Jim and Carol deserve credit for how the teams are prepped for competition this season – but no one expected the next step in their progress.   This came when MileSplit ranked them Number 1 in the USA.   Look at this.

MS50 XC Girls Team Rankings 2018

RANK                 TEAM                                     LAST RESULT                              COMMENTS

1 (Up 1 Place)         Summit                                    @ Warner Pacific Classic                See explanation below
2 (Down 1 Place)   Mountain Vista HS                @ Continental League Champs     See explanation below

25 Schools Ranked.

Our explanation on flipping Summit (OR) High School over Mountain Vista (CO) at No. 1 and No. 2:

Quite simply, Summit has run much better lately and has shown itself as the best team in the country.

While the Golden Eagles have run well over the last month, they haven’t blown us away just yet and Summit is coming off a spectacular outing this weekend.

The argument for Mountain Vista: The Golden Eagles are coming off another solid win at the Continental Championships on Oct. 10 where they demolished the field with 27 points on an 18:55 average and 60 second spread. On Sept. 21, the team defeated ranked Cherokee Trail and (newly ranked) Battle Mountain in its biggest meet to date. At Liberty Bell, on Sept. 9, the Golden Eagles dispatched ranked Cherokee Trail, Niwot and a fast improving Peak to Peak Charter Team. How about the speed ratings? On Sept. 21, the squad produced: 138-124-121-112-110. On Sep. 9, the scores were: 136-130-129-129-115. Overall, Mountain Vista has beaten more ranked teams within their state.

The argument for Summit (OR): The program hasn’t had a bad race. The Storm’s most recent race on Oct. 13 at the Warner Pacific Classic produced four girls under 18 minutes for 5K and its fifth just under 18:10. Summit defeated the next closest team by 119 points and produced a 17:51 average and 40-second spread. The Nike Portland XC Invite on Sept. 29 was its best effort overall. The team dominated with 38 points and dispatched one of Idaho’s traditional state powers, Eagle High School. The Storm put down an 18:09 average and 53 second spread. Summit also won the North west XC Classic on Sept. 15 and handily defeated No. 8 Jesuit on Sept. 8. Speed ratings for Summit at Nike Portland on Sept. 29: 138-131-124-121-120. While Summit hasn’t raced outside Oregon, it’s beaten a top 10 team and has the firepower right now to compete with anyone.”

That is quite a ranking and, unlike many such lists, the rating body gives good sound reasons for their decision.   Well done girls – and well done Jim and Carol McLatchie.  As Jim says, though, getting to the top is easier than staying there but then he has shown at State level that he knows a bit about that too:  State cross-country titles won down the years since the school was opened in 2001 by the boys were in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016, and for the Girls in 2004, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016.   And that’s not counting their contribution to the School’s many track & field titles either.   


Captured at the 6A Mountain Valley District Championships on October 27, 2018 by Matthew Lasala

Since the race above was posted, Jim has had a stroke and was hospitalised but, being Jim, he asked for a pass to get to the races on Saturday 27th October in the 6A-6 Mountain Valley Conference Championships.   They let him go and the results must have done him a lot of good:  the girls in the Junior Varsity race finished in the first five places, and with five runners to count towards the team position, they won comfortably.   15 points to the second team’s 51.   They had 8 runners in the top 11.   The Junior Varsity men’s team repeated the results – first five places and 8 in the first 11.   There wre 97 finishers in the girls race and 169 in the men’s.  Detailed results, JV Girls first:

  1.  Magdalene Williams;  2.  Ashley Boone;  3.  Jorun Dowling;  4.  Ellie Skyersaa;  5.  Jocelyn Parks;  7.  Sophia Segesta;  8.  Nicole Morgan;  11.  Megan Lasala. 

And the boys:  1.   Mason Kissell;  2.  Jackson Keefer;  3.  Jesse Vandenborn;  4.  Jack Strang;  5.  Parker Meredith;  7.  Tobias Holme;  10  Milo Mora;  11.  Evan Grover.   

In the Varsity races, The girls won with 20 points to South Salem’s 80.   There were 49 finishers and Summit had seven in the top ten.       The Boy’s team also won their race with 33 points to 42  for Bend; 56 finishers, they had four in the top ten, three in the top four.   Results:

Women:  1.  Fiona Max;  2.  Teaghan Knox;  3.  Kelsey Gripekoven;  6.  Isabel Max;  8.  Jasper Fievert; 9.  Azza Swanson;  10.  Stella Skovborg.

Men:   1.   Zachry Weber;  3.  Sam Hatfield;  4.  Joseph Sortor;  9.  Nathaniel Henson;  16.  Sam Timms;  19.  Jaden McCabe.

A walk in the park?  Not at all – big fields on a hilly course at an altitude of 4000 feet.   This coming Saturday it is the State Championships and the school is going for eleven in a row.   I’ll say that again – ELEVEN in a row.  No pressure then,

Captured at Oxford Classic XC race on October 05, 2018 by Matthew Lasala

On 3rd November, the Varsity teams were at the State Championships and Jim was there to see them perform.   It was a higher standard of race but the girls did the business again.   In a field of 155 runners and 21 teams they were first by 29 points – 39 points to Jesuits 68 with the third team, Lincoln, well back on 147.   It was their eleventh victory in a row and a tribute to the girls and their coaches.   Ten in a row places a lot of pressure on the runners as they go to the starting line but they were equal to the pressure – just note that Fiona Max won the race by 14 seconds in a time only two seconds outside the course record.   Jim’s advice to her was to make a move on the hill on the last lap and keep it rolling from there: it worked, and she won in some style.   As did the team.   The boys ran well to finish fifth team of the 21 that were competing.   Tom runner was Zachry Weber who finished twelfth in 15:54 which by any standard is a good time for his age group over 5000m of country, and only 17 seconds behind the winner.   Sam Hatfield was eighteenth only 15 seconds down.   48th was Joseph Sortor, Robert Gorman was 57th and Mason Kissell 93rd..     

Girls Results: five runners to score for the team total:

  1.   Fiona Max  17:29;   5.   Teaghan Knox   18:01;   8.   Isabel Max   18:13;   11.  Kelsey Gripekoven  18:16;   14.  Azza Swanson   18:27   This was really excellent packing by the team – they had five in before Jesuit had three and before Lincoln had three, and eight Summit runners were in front of Jesuit’s fifth scoring athlete.        
Girls cross country: Summit wins battle of powers in 6A meet
Hood River Valley takes first title; Tillamook’s Solace Bergeron repeats; Kennedy’s Alejandra Lopez breaks through
November 3, 2018 by Jerry Ulmer, OSAAtoday

Summit's Fiona Max, leading Lincoln's Kyla Becker, won the 6A girls title. (NW Sports Photography)

Summit’s Fiona Max, leading Lincoln’s Kyla Becker, won the 6A girls title. (NW Sports Photography)

EUGENE — Sure, Summit is proud of its run of 10 consecutive 5A girls cross country titles.   But what the Storm accomplished Saturday at the OSAA/OnPoint Community Credit Union 6A championships at Lane Community College was on another level, entirely.

In a long-awaited, head-to-head battle with two-time reigning 6A champion Jesuit, Summit claimed state bragging rights by outpointing the runner-up Crusaders 39-68. In extending its title streak to 11, the Storm proved what it had been saying all along.

“We’ve never shied from competition. We’ve always felt that we belonged in 6A,” Summit co-coach Jim McLatchie said.   Summit junior Fiona Max led the way by winning the individual title in 17 minutes, 29 seconds. The Storm’s other scorers were freshman Teaghan Knox (fifth) and juniors Isabell Max (eighth), Kelsey Gripekoven (11th) and Azza Borovicka Swanson (14th). Gripekoven is a transfer from Jesuit, where she helped the Crusaders win the title last year.

“It feels so good,” Fiona Max said of the team win. “All the teams in this class are such nice people and they carry themselves with a lot of pride. … It’s really nice coming up into this class and proving that we belong here, and that we’re here to stay.”

There is no end in sight to Summit’s domination. “They’ll all be back next year, and there’s a hell of a lot of good freshmen coming up behind them,” McLatchie said.   Summit, ranked No. 2 in the nation by DyeStat, relished the challenge of running against Jesuit, ranked sixth. The Storm outscored Jesuit 22-51 to win the Ash Creek Festival on Sept. 8 but knew that the state meet was another matter.   “Jesuit’s really good at raising the intensity, at bringing it,” Fiona Max said. “We knew they were going to bring their best. We know that we have to come prepared, as well, to combat it. We love racing against them because we know they bring out the best in us, and we bring out the best of them.”

Fiona Max won by 14 seconds over the reigning champion, Jesuit senior Makenna Schumacher. She lost to Schumacher by two-tenths of a second for first place at Ash Creek, but this time, Max powered past Schumacher going up a hill at the three-mile mark and took control down the stretch.   “I followed what the coaches told me to do, and it ended up working out,” Max said. “I didn’t think I was going to make it all the way around if I made my move there, but it worked out.”

The Storm now turns its attention toward the Nike Cross Regional meet next weekend in Boise. A top-two finish would earn Summit a spot in the 16-team Nike Cross Nationals in Portland on Dec. 1.

Captured at Oxford Classic XC race on October 05, 2018 by Matthew Lasala



Tommy Boyle : PCS Pictures

Football is massive in Scotland – some say it occupies too big a profile in the country but whether it does or not its influence on the younger generations is unquestionable.   It was always essential to get football on board.

Ally McCoist talks to parents at Hampden

Gordon Smith, CEO SFA, launches PCS

Jim Thomson, a real enthusiast, on PCS at Hampden


John Brown talks about respect

Darren Fletcher talks about respect

Alex McLeish, Tina Seyers, Tommy, Jim Fleeting

Stewart Harris, CEO Sportscotland

John Wilson talks on education

Stuart Grieve, SFA PCS Projects Manager

Grant Small, WSF, PCS Project Manager

and, of course, …. 

Tommy at the Stirling launch of PCS

Tommy Boyle: PCS Colleagues

This gallery has some of Tommy’s colleagues in the Positive Coaching Scotland activities:

PCS Training Course in California


PCS in Fife schools

Leanne Martin on PCS 

Drumchapel PCS coaches

Tommy at PCS in Renfrewshire

Barrhead Boys Club PCS launch

Frank Dick at PCS in Scotstoun

The PCS launch in Clackmannanshire


Judy Murray on fun in PCS

Chris Paterson on rugby


Tommy Boyle: Pictures

The whole Winning Scotland Foundation and Positive Coaching Scotland journey took Tommy to places he never expected to go to, and led him to meeting many very influential and interesting people from many walks of life.   Just some of them are shown on this page and many more are on pages linked from the foot this page.

Ian Wood, a major funder of WSF

Gregor Townsend, friend and 100% supporter of PCS

John Paul Fitzpatrick, mindset guru

Louise Martin


Judy Anderson

Rick Orr

Kath Grainger, WSF Patron

Andrew Pert, WSF Board Member



With Daley Thomson in 2012

SVHC: March 1989

I was recently given a bundle of copies of the Scottish Veteran Harriers Club magazine, printed by Walter Ross, for 1988 and 1989.   This is the March 1989 version, which runs to 14 pages.

Clydesdale Harriers Sports: 1906 – 1910

Sam Stevenson who featured in almost every Clydesdale Harriers Sports

“Our Annual Sports were held at Celtic Park on 26th May, 1906, and proved a great success; and it gives the Committee great satisfaction to report a favourable balance.   We again held meetings at Dunoon on Glasgow Fair Saturday and Monday along with the local club, and we regret to state that, owing to miserable weather on the Saturday and Monday, there was a considerable loss on the venture.   Had it not been for the weather we are certain that this meeting would have proved a great success.   Junior  Football Tourneys were included in both programmes, and proved to be most popular.” 

The May meeting had a star studded cast which included Halswelle, McGough, Kitson, Mitchell, Sam Stevenson and others.   The Glasgow Herald repost on the Monday started with the comment:   “Are we to have a quadruple champion this season?   Lt Halswell’s brilliant running at the Clydesdale Harriers sports on Saturday is responsible for this interesting query.   The man who can do 600 yards in 1 min 12 4-5th sec is quite capable of winning the quarter and half mile, and 24 sec on a yielding, sodden surface is good enough to win the 220, while if it be true that Halswell in practice is covering 100 yards in ‘half second’, the quadruple achievement is not beyond the bounds of possibility on the part of that accomplished pedestrian.   Perhaps it is physically impossible for anyone to win four championships in one afternoon, but if there is one more capable than another of such an achievement then Halswell is that man.   He is a great runner in every sense of the term and it will be a disappointment to many if he does not leave the impress of his athletic genius on our national records over more distances than the 600 yards.

The 100 yards race was divided into 24 heats, all of which filled well.   R Kitson, Bellahouston Harriers, won in 10 and 2-5th seconds and W Fairbrother of GYMCA (9 yards) was second.   The final was a very fine race and the finish was as close as it was possible to be.”

After that build up, what had Halswell done to deserve it?   He had won the 600 yards invitation, running from scratch to beat John McGough (15 yards) by three yards in 1 min 12 4-5th seconds, a new native record, the previous being held by R Mitchell, St Mirren,  with 1 min 15 3-5th seconds.   He also won the 220 yards in 24 1-5th seconds.   G Perth of ESH (55 yards) won the 1000 yards from AM Matthews (EUAC  17 yards) and Tom Jack (25 yards).   This race had 122 entries of whom 104 started but only ten per cent of that number finished.   Needless to say, heats were required here too.   It was a successful meeting in every way including the weather but the same was not true of their meeting at Dunoon in July.

Organised jointly by Clydesdale Harriers and Dunoon Athletic Club on 14th and 16th July, the first day was showery but the attendance was said by the Glasgow Herald to be ‘large’ and there were close contests throughout the programme.   The best known competitor was probably A Turnbull of Clydesdale Harriers who won the half-mile from 28 metres – he would go on to be second in the SAAA 880 yards championship twice but was a better runner than that suggests.  There were several local athletes competing and, maybe to hedge their bets, a 5-a-side football competition featuring Clydebank (the winners), Clyde, Dunoon Albion , Petershill, Benburb, Strathclyde, Rutherglen Glencairn and Maryhill.   Given that it was the start of the Glasgow Fair fortnight, the preponderance of Glasgow teams was not surprising.   There was also a two day sports meeting at Ayr on the Saturday and Monday,another popular destination for the holiday makers, organised by Ayr FC..  Ayr had attracted several very well known Scottish athletes, especially in the sprints where JP Stark and R Kitson featured  At Dunoon on the Monday, despite the presence of Sam Stevenson and some good racing, the weather and attendance were both poor.   An interesting comment in the Glasgow Herald was that ‘if Dunoon is to vie with Ayr athletically, the sooner a cycle track is laid down the better.’

Tom Jack from Edinburgh was a frequent competitor at all the big Sports in Glasgow

25th May was the date of the club sports in 1907 which were again held at Celtic Park.    The programme was not as lengthy as it had sometimes been and there was again a 5-a-side tournament which was won by Port Glasgow from Clyde by 1 goal to 1 corner.   Results of the main events were as follows:

100 yards:   1. HW Hepburn (WSH 6 yards);  2.  JB Watson (CH 8 yards);  3.   A Buglass ( ESH  7 yards).   Time 10.2  Won by less than a yard

220 yards:   1.  JD McVicar (unatt  22 yards);  2.  D Johnston  (BH  6 yards);  3.  J Walker (BH  12 yards)  Time 23.2   Won by a couple of yards.

880 yards:   1.  JG Allan (Fettesian-Lorettonians 40 yards);  2. T Jack (ESH 28 yards);  3.  G Chalmers (GACC  52 yards)   Time 1 min 59 sec.   Won with ease.

Three Miles:   1.  E Paterson (MYMCA 220 yards);  2.  G Culbert (Monkland 200 yards);  3.  A Duncan, jnr (Kendal scratch)   Time 14:50.4  Won easily.

Throwing the Hammer:  1.  TR Nicolson (WSH  scr);  152′ 1″;  2.  R McHardy (Queen’s Edinburgh  41′ 0″)   147′

The club also held their sports on the new recreation ground at Dunoon on 13th July with a programme confined to flat racing and a 5-a-side competition.   Only 20 turned up for the 100 yards, none of the back markers being present.  Indeed neither sprint was outstanding although there were close finishes. The half mile was a bit different with 24 on the track and the first three finishing almost side by side.   These were Adam Turnbull (CH  40 yds), R Koter (Maryhill 52 yds) and Sam Stevenson (CH 30 yards and Turnbull’s time was 1:59.   The Mile was a quality race with a field of 20 runners.   PC Russell (Bellahouston 95 yards) won but there was a real tussle between Sam Stevenson (50 yards) and Alex McPhee (75 yards) both of Clydesdale Harriers for second place which went to Stevenson.   The 5-a-side was won by Maryhill over Vale of Clyde.    

Lt Wyndham Halswell

In 1908 the sports were on 30th May and were back at Ibrox Park.   The star attraction was Wyndham Halswell who had won four SAAA titles (100, 220, 440 and 880 yards) in 1906 and two in 1907 and held the Scottish record for the quarter-mile.   In this meeting he won the Olympic Games trial 440 yards in 50.4 from GW Young of the High School and Bellahouston Harriers and also the 600 yards from scratch in 1:12.2.    1908 being Olympic year event trials were given to various sports meetings around the country and there were three here – the 440 yards and the broad and triple jumps won by Bryce W Scott (CH).

Among the other results, JL Reid of Clydesdale won the 100 yards and 220 yards for a double success; Quinn of Bellahouston won the two miles walking race from Justice of Clydesdale; R O’Connor won the half mile from Mann of Clydesdale (well known as a cross-country and road runner); and W McPherson of Motherwell (330 yards) won the three miles team race from R Craig of Dennistoun Harriers (220 yards).   

George Dallas, right, started out as a sprinter but became one of Scotland’s best half milers

On 29th May in 1909  Ibrox was again the venue for the club’s annual sports and the handbook said “The annual sports were very successful from an athletics standpoint.   Unfortunately the attendance was not up to expectations but the Directors of the Rangers Football Club, Ltd, very generously handed over the stand drawings, thus permitting us to make ends meet, and to them we extend our hearty thanks.”   The Glasgow Herald agreed with the comment that the sports were very successful – read their report:


If Clydesdale Harriers did not get all they merited in the shape of public support, they have the satisfaction of knowing that they maintained, and more than maintained their good name as providers of athletics.   For all the races were well contested, and if there were no outstanding performance, this was due in some measure to the conditions, which were against a high rate of speed.   Ian Dickson of Edinburgh University AC improved on his exhibition at Hampden Park the previous week by getting first in the 220 yards and second in the 100 yards.   It was only in the last stride that he lost the latter, Stanley Jeffrey, who disposed of him in the second round of the West of Scotland Harriers sprint, beating him by inches in 10 sec.   The better performance, however, was the 220 and it is evident he is a formidable competitor over this distance.   With Lieutenant Halswell out of the way, championship honours appear to be within his grasp in the 220 and 440 as well.   GW Young, Bellahouston Harriers, should be in the latter on last year’s form but so far he has not disclosed anything like the pace of which he was then possessed.   The half-mile handicap was captured by George Dallas, Maryhill Harriers, and the winner at Hampden the previous Saturday, R Maguire, Glenpark Harriers, was second.   The short mark men were anything but prominent in the three miles handicap, and it is just possible they were hampered more by the conditions than some of the others.   Whatever the reason, McPhee, Stevenson, Bowman and others retired when they reconciled themselves to the hopelessness of their task.   The winner was Kerr of Motherwell YMCA Harriers, who out in a very interesting finish.   A Justice, Clydesdale Harriers won the walk handicap and IL Reid, another member of the promoting club, with his concession cleared 22 feet 5 inches which is a very good performance and it is hoped he will see his way to enter for the handicaps.   The cycle handicaps were won by riders with biggish handicaps …” 

Another good year for the sports if not financially: unfortunately that scenario was repeated the following year.   The 1910 sports were held on 30th May at Ibrox and the club report said “the Annual Sports were very successful from an athletic standpoint.   Unfortunately the attendance was not up to expectation but the Directors of the Rangers Football Club, Ltd, very generously handed over half the stand drawings, thus permitting us to make ends meet, and to them we extend our hearty thanks.”   






Clydesdale Harriers Sports 1896 – 1900

Andrew Hannah

To set the scene: in 1896 Clydesdale Harriers had split with the SAAA and the SCCU and were running their own competitions and championships.   The championships of both SAAA and SAAU were both being held on 27th June which would have bee the date of the Clydesdale Harriers Sports.   The sports were therefore brought back by two weeks.   They were held at Ibrox Park on 13th June in 1896 and according to the club handbook only just managed to make ends meet owing to a very poor turn out of spectators.   

The ‘Glasgow Herald’ reported: “Every sports holding club must after this steer clear of Lifeboat Saturday.   If  they don’t their experience will be as melancholy as that of the Clydesdale Harriers.   No club, perhaps, has suffered more from demonstrations than the Clydesdale Harriers.   Several years ago Mr Gladstone in one of his political pilgrimages visited the city on the same as Clydesdale Harriers were holding their annual sports with the result that Ibrox was almost deserted; while on Saturday, owing chiefly to the nautical spectacle, that ground presented an equally forsaken appearance.   All this is very hard on the Clydesdale who have done so much in their honourable career to promote the best interests of athletics, and who, like other clubs of a similar kind, look forward to reaping some little return from their yearly sports.   But of the attendance was disappointing, the Clydesdale have the satisfaction of knowing that they have presented one of the most interesting athletic dishes that has been submitted to the Glasgow public this season.   There was not a wide finish the whole afternoon.”

There were many very good races that afternoon but the best was the victory of Andrew Hannah in the three miles handicap where, as scratch man, he was not thought to be able to work his way through the field.  Seventeen men started but by halfway ‘the field was considerably reduced’.   The handicaps were big ones with the second placed runner being off a mark of 300 yards.  The task for all the back markers was such that internationalists and Scottish champions Duffus and Robertson gave up halfway through the race.  Hannah ran hard all the way and the victory was hailed as the best run  of his career up to that point, a view which was confirmed by the enthusiasm of the spectators at the finish.   

By now the Rangers Sports had moved to the date which will always be associated, the first Saturday in August, and in the absence of any demonstrations plus a good programme of athletics and cycling, they attracted a crowd of 14,000+.

The Clydesdale Harriers handbook for the year went on to say:   “On 20th July (Fair Monday), we introduced another innovation  in the shape of a Sports Meeting on the Coast.   After due consideration, Dunoon was chosen as the venue, it being the only place a suitable field could be obtained, and although a goodly number turned out to witness the sports, very little profit was made of them, owing to the expense of putting the ground in order.   The experience gained may be useful on another occasion. ”  

The club held several meetings each year, some on its own account and others in co-operation with other clubs.   The big one however remained the one in July.      


A year later, on 3rd July, 1897, at Ibrox there was another tale of bad luck.   The handbook: “The weather was anything but favourable and had great effect upon the gate, in consequence of which the meeting incurred a loss.   Interest was added to the meeting by putting up a Challenge Cup and Badges for Team Competition: and the club’s own Team was successful in winning.   Special thanks are due to the Committee of Rangers FC for their generosity in handing over to us the sum of £10, being the major part of the drawings of the covered stand, which were to be retained by them.”   

The Glasgow Herald waxed lyrical on the weather conditions on the day:   “Ibrox Park is not by any means the best venue obtainable for a sports meeting when there is a wind on, and when, as was the case on Saturday, the breeze hails from the south-west, the enclosure  of the Rangers FC gets the full brunt of it.   Naturally therefore the racing at the Clydesdale Harriers Sports on Saturday afternoon suffered considerably from the gale that prevailed.”   

There were several good races but none of the five English teams invited for the three miles team race appeared and the race was between Clydesdale and Watsonians with the CH proving victorious while Edinburgh Northern was third.    There were many close finishes but the only athletics beneficiaries on the day were the 100 yards sprinters who were helped on their way and lots of good times were recorded.   The list of officials does not include a wind gauge operator.


The bad luck and bad weather continued and on 2nd July, 1898 when  Ibrox  was favoured with ‘boisterous, showery weather’.    The club secretary’s report said that ‘Ibrox Park was placed entirely at our disposal by Rangers FC’    He went on to lament the weather and said ‘The attendance was naturally of the most meagre description and income failed to meet the expenditure by about £25.   Fortunately this sum was almost covered by a guarantee fund raised among the Committee and Members, so that very little loss on the Sports will be incurred by the club.’   It  wasn’t just the sports that were affected of course – “the weather was all against cricket” for instance but that was small consolation to the club treasurer or to the athletes.   The Glasgow Herald began its report on the meeting as follows:  “This popular club, which for some years past had very bad weather for its annual gathering, was again on the shady side of fortune on Saturday last,  the total drawings amounting only to £38 15s.   The racing all over, however, was of a very high class, and the majority of the finishes of a most exciting description, the handicapping, especially in the flat events being very good indeed.”

There was the usual quota of bicycle races which were well supported – eg the half mile handicap had seven heats  which sounds very good, and it is, but the athletes really supported the meeting.   the 100 yards had twenty (20) heats, a second round of four heats and the final for the few witnesses on the terracing to enjoy.  25   100 yards races in the one afternoon!  The standard was high – Hugh Barr was there again,  for instance – and the race was won by Neil of Partick Harriers from Kirkwood of Clyde FC  and Cooper of Ingram Harriers in 10.0.   Not bad after three races on a bad day weatherwise.   The two miles short handicap race was won by JS Duffus, from W Robertson and DW Mill. all of Clydesdale Harriers, all noted cross-country runners, in a time of 9:51.2.   The half-mile was won by Lindsay of Vale of Leven AC from WW Mason (unattached).   This is of interest to  Scottish athletics buffs in that the Vale of Leven AAC that we know of as the home club of Lachie Stewart was only founded after the second world war.   There were eight heats of the open 220 yards and the Mile was won by T Scott (EUAC) in 4:33.   Interestingly, there were three cycle races of which two were for professional riders and one for amateurs.   

In 1899, the club changed the date of the meeting from July to May 20th.   Held as always at Ibrox, a profit was made that enabled them to pay all their expenses and still have a credit balance.   “We had the honour of introducing to the Glasgow public the World’s Champion Hugh Welsh.   A Five-a-Side Tournament (by some regarded as a relic of bye-gone days in so far as Glasgow is concerned) was also introduced, and judging by the enthusiasm evinced,   could be counted as one of the successes.   Vale of Clyde won the first prizes.”

A change of date, a top class athlete previously unseen by a Glasgow crowd and back to the future with a five-a-side brought the first profitable Sports for several years.   

  •  The football competition was made up of Junior teams: the Junior football scene was well supported at the time – junior does not refer to the age of the players but to the fact that their leagues were only a little below that of Senior football.   The teams involved were Vale of Clyde, Ashfield, Rutherglen Glencairn, Maryhill, Cambuslang Hibernian, and Glasgow Perthshire.   
  • Hugh Welsh was a genuine athletics celebrity.   A member of the Watsonians club, he had won the SAAA half-mile and mile double in 1896 and  1897. setting a Scottish record in the latter of 4:24.2; in 1898 he won both half-mile and mile in the Irish international in Dublin; and would go on to do the triple in the SAAA championships in June 1899 of 440 yards, 880 yards and Mile.   You can read more about him at  this link 

In the 1899 CH Sports, Welsh was running from scratch with fellow Watsonian JS Paterson off only 23 yards.   Paterson was the reigning SAAA four mile champion and had been second in the four miles in the Irish international the previous year so it was no easy task for Welsh in the Clydesdale Harriers mile.  He won in 4:30.2.   It was “A grand race, the best seen in Scotland for many years, the champion showing excellent judgment.   The time was certainly good considering the condition of the track.”   Welsh and Paterson faced each other again in the half mile: Welsh started the half but did not finish because of an injury to his foot sustained in the Mile.   Paterson won the race off 15 yards.   Probably because of the CH Sports recent history, the ‘Herald’ reported that the drawings were:  Gate £65  5s; Stand £10.      The report ended with the remark that “The sport overall was of the best class and will do a lot to help athletics generally.”

Hugh Welsh

“The Annual Sports of the Club were held on June 16th, 1900.   For once the elements were in our favour yet, notwithstanding the strictest economy, we had difficulty in making ends meet.   The programme submitted was much as in previous years, the novelty of a Boys’ Race and a tug-of-war contest  having to be abandoned through lack of entrants.”      

The Glasgow Herald report was also very brief commenting that the sports were conducted in a business-like manner and reflected great credit on all concerned but the attendance was ‘far from satisfactory’.   The usual events were held minus the two events that had made 1899 such a success – no five-a-side and no really big name although there were several Scottish internationalists on display.   Results in brief:

120 yards hurdles:  1.   RS Stronach (Glasgow Academy 17 yards);  2.   AAG Stronach (Glasgow Academy  17 yards)    Time  12.2 sec

300 yards Handicap:  1.   Rennie (Glencairn Harriers)  24 yards);   2.   J Dobbie ( Kilmarnock FC  19 yards)  Time  32 seconds

Half mile handicap:   1.   John Laurie (CH 45 yards);  2.  John Matheson (Dennistoun Harriers  60 yards) Time:   1 min 59 sec

One Mile:   1.   J Thyne (CH 100 yards);   2.  R Burns (Govan AC  60 yards)   Time 4:26.6

RS Stronach

A diversion that has nothing to do with Clydesdale Harriers.   RS Stronach was one of the best ever Scottish hurdlers.   He won the SAAA 120 yards hurdles six times.   He had an elder brother who always appeared on the programmes as AAG  who had been third in the SAAA 120 yards hurdles in 1899 and would be again in 1902; RS was to become a great favourite and he won the event in 1900, 1901, 1904, 1905, 1906, 1907.   A noted athlete in his school days and won the prize for the best all-round athlete i the school.   While still in his teens he played for Scotland at rugby as a flank forward.   He was first noted as a hurdler in 1900 when he first won the SAAA title and then finished very close to the winner in the Scoto-Irish International.   His career included winning the AAA’s hurdles title three years in succession and was nigh on unbeatable in Scotland or in the Irish internationals which he won in 1901, 04, 05, 06 and 08.   He set a Scottish record for the hurdles of 15.8 – a record that stood for 43 years.  A  civil engineer he emigrated to Canada in the spring of 1908.

There was also  another brother not yet mentioned – AS Stronach – who won the SAAA Shot and Hammer events in 1898.   Mind you he was the only competitor in these years.   After emigration, RS competed there in 1909, and possibly later  although details are hard to come by.    

All three  represented Glasgow Academy and below we have an extract from the school sports programme.  

Clydesdale Harriers Sports: 1888 – 1895

Charles Blatherwick, President of Clydesdale Harriers from 1885 to 1897

Clydesdale Harriers was founded on 4th May, 1885.   Their first track race was a 300 yards at Meadowside, Partick Thistle’s football ground, but their famous and highly regarded Sports did not begin until July 1988.    Their first training track was at the Rangers FC ground at Kinning Park and when the club moved to Ibrox, the Harriers moved as well.   There were many links between the clubs who had many members, indeed committee members, in common.   Co-operation between clubs was not unusual at that time and Scotland at that point really was a sport loving country.   The sports pages covered  not only football, cricket, rugby and athletics but also bowling, cycling, shinty, chess, quoiting and others on an almost daily basis.

It was no surprise then that the first sports meeting held at Ibrox, on 7th July 1888, was a joint venture.   Because it was the first, the report from the Glasgow Herald is reproduced below:

” The Clydesdale Harriers and Rangers Joint Athletic Meeting”

This important athletics fixture was held at Ibrox Park, the ground of the latter, on Saturday afternoon.   Between 5000 and 6000 persons were present and the large stands were almost filled, but the cold weather doubtless prevented any great display of gorgeous dresses by those of the fair sex present.   A very heavy programme was arranged and but for the fact that several of the events were run off at once instead of in heats, the proceedings would have been protracted until a very late hour.   The fact that the five miles and one mile Scottish bicycle championships were to be decided, brought a large contingent of noted wheelists to witness the contests and gave great interest to the sport.   Wilson of Edinburgh, last year’s champion, rode in rare form, not only retaining the honour of champion for another year, but also winning the three miles handicap.   He then won his heat in the mile open handicap but, as he had beaten Bruce on level terms, he did not start in the final.   Vallance was again unfortunate in the hurdles race for after winning his heat in fine style, he fell at the third hurdle in the final and gave up.   The steeplechase and 440 yards handicaps which concluded the programme, were among the most exciting of the programme. “

The report went on to the results of a meeting that included many events that look a bit strange at this distance – a four-a-side football match featuring 3rd LRV, Rangers, Partick Thistle and Queen’s Park in which the 3rd LRV defeated Rangers in the final by 4 – 1.   The comments on the football matches were of interest to those of us who thought that they were just tougher versions of five-a-sides: eg “First tie: Rangers beat Queen’s Park by one touhc down to nil after a fine game;  Second tie: 3rd LRV beat Partick Thistle by two goals and one touch down to one goal.”   Touch down implies carrying the ball in the hand, does it not?    

For the ‘wheelists’ there were the two championships. plus one mile and five mile tricycle races; there was also a sack race and an obstacle race.   There were the cycle races of course and track races at distances ranging from 100 yards to the three miles steeplechase handicap.   

John Mellish, and leading figure at the organisation of the first joint sports

Mellish was President of Rangers and of ClydesdaleHarriers

Many well known  sportsmen took part, maybe the best race in this respect was the 120 yards hurdles which was won by JR Gow (Rangers and CH), from TE Maley (CH) with A Vallance (CH and Rangers) falling in the final.   All three competed in other races with varying degrees of success.   Since it was the first one, the results of the main track races will be given:

100 yards: Six heats.   Heat winners: A Gillespie (CH and Falkirk FC); A Hastie (CH), TE Maley (CH), K Thomson (Larchfield Academicals); .   TW Young (CH); in the fourth heat there had been a tie between R Neil Battlefield FC and DR Gow (CH).   There was a run over in which Gow won by a yard.   Final:  1.  Gow;  2.  Thomson; 3.  Maley.    Time:  10.4 seconds

One Mile Handicap:  23 started in this race.   1.   AW Fullarton (Irvine FC 90 yards);  2. AB McKenzie (CH and Rangers 80 yards);  3. James Erskine (CH  80 yards)    Time: 4:28.6     “The scratch man, Blane of Maybole, was never in it .”   Blane was also a Clydesdale Harrier who won the SAAA Championship and set Scottish records for the One Mile.  

120 yards Hurdles Handicap (Open): First heat:  JR Gow (CH  8 yards); T Maley (CH  8 yards);  Second heat:  R Vallance (champion, CH and Rangers 13 yards)  R White (CH and Hamilton AFC 6 yards).   Final:  1.  Gow; 2.  Maley;  3  R White  Time 19.4 seconds

660 yards Scratch Race: 1.  J Logan  (CH and Vale of Leven FC); 2.  T Blair (QPFC);  3.  JB Green (CH) Time 1 min 16.4  (this cut down previous record which was 1:17.2)

Half Mile Handicap (open):  1.  John Anderson (CH) 35 yards;  2.   JH Ferguson (CH)  55 yards;  3.  J Rodgers (Montgrennan CC) 50 yards.   29 started.  Time 2:00.0

440 yards:  Heat winners and seconds:  First Heat:  R Welsh (Ayr Section, CH  22 yards), MJ Ferguson (CH  35 yards);  Second heat: JB Green (Clydesdale Harriers 6 yards), MJ Gilmore (Irvine FC);  third heat:  JT Ward (CH and Rangers 20 yards), TW Young (CH and Rangers 5 yards);  fourth heat: G Ramsay (CH 40 yards) TE Maley (CH 12 yards).   Final: 1. TW Young;  2. JB Green  3. TE Maley.   Time 52.0.

The three miles steeplechase handicap was won by Andrew Hannah, junior (CH), from A Saunders (London) and R Graham (CH).   Saunders with a handicap of 440 yards was leading by 200 yards at the end of two miles.   Hannah, off 20 yards, won in 16:03.8.   

The day was indeed a success and the following year they were advertised as the Rangers and Clydesdale Harriers Annual Sports and were held on 6th July, 1889.   The Harriers at that time had members who were cyclists, boxers, skater and swimmers as well as runners and football players.   On the day of the sports it was announced that the club had fixed up a football match with the Preston North End   at Ibrox on September 6th who would go on to open the new Aberdeen FC ground the next day.   To take this a wee bit further, the club handbook for 1889/90 contained the following:  “Grounds with a cinder track have repeatedly been spoken of, but so long as the resent friendly relations with Rangers FC , the Committee feel that there is no necessity for moving in this matter.”   It went on to say that a Football team had been spoken of and the club had defeated Preston North End, Third Lanark and Celtic but the ‘time was not yet ripe for keeping up a permanent organisation.’   However we should return to the Sports of 1889.   

The meeting was again a success – held in fine weather but with a choppy wind that affected times in the track events, the crowd was a good one when the meeting started at two o’clock and steadily increased in size until there was a very good attendance.    Top performance on the day was by TE Maley of ‘the Celtic’ who won the 100 yards and the won the 220 in 23.4 ‘which is as good as the Scottish record.   In favourable weather, Maley could slice a second or two off that record.”   JR Gow was the other stand out performer on the day – easily winning the hurdles race and finishing a close third in the 220 yards.   The 660 yards scratch race was won by J Logan of Vale of Leven and Clydesdale, T Blair of QPFC was second and R Mitchell of St Mirren and Clydesdale was third.   There were the usual cycle races and the four-a-side tournament was held again, Cowlairs defeated St Mirren in the final and again there were touchdowns involved in the scoring.

Tom Maley

Ibrox, 5th July, 1890,  saw the third Clydesdale Harriers and Rangers Annual Sports: “The Clydesdale Harriers and Rangers Football Club had a most successful sports on Saturday.   Finer foot racing has not been witnessed for a long time  than which took place at Ibrox Park.   The final in the 100 yards was blemished by an unfortunate accident to Lindsay who lost first place through his feet getting entangled in the strings; but otherwise the finishes in the sprints were most exciting, and it would be difficult to conceive finer races than the two heats of the second round of the 100 yards.   The 220 yards heats and final alike produced some keen competition; and the half-mile and mile, after some severe exertion, were just won on the tape.   But it was reserved for A Hannah, of the  Clydesdale Harriers, to create the sensation of the meeting by breaking the two mile record.   Mr Duncan was the last holder, his time being 9:48.2, while on Saturday Hannah got home in 9:43.4.   Two safety records with the pneumatics out were most interesting and the finishes of last year were recalled when Lees, Allan and Collins got home in the one mile handicap in a bunch.   Regarding the pneumatic machines we are informed that the St Mirren and Maybole clubs have decided not to accept entries from those that use them and other clubs will no doubt follow the example of these two.   The finishes in the ordinary races were not such happy handicapping efforts as the others; but the racing in these, and also in the other events, constituted an afternoon’s enjoyment greatly relished by all who shared in it.”

There was a good attendance – the large stand was completely filled and ’round the ring’ spectators were three and four deep.   The strife caused by the use of pneumatic tyres rumbled on and for a while there were races in meeting programmes for solid tyres and for pneumatics separately and over the same distances.   As for poor old Lindsay catching his foot in the ‘strings’ …    Sprint lanes were divided one from the other by string at a height of about a foot from the ground supported at intervals by pegs all the way down the straight.   The meeting this year had a six-a-side football tournament where results were by goals and points.   There were no touchdowns this time round.

As far as the results are concerned –

*JT Weir (Milngavie FC) won the 100 yards from AR Downes (Rangers); 

*120 yards hurdles won in a very close finish by D Robertson (Clyde FC  5 yards) from TE Maley (CH this year, 10 yards).   Won by inches with spectators unable to decide who had won.

*W Murray, Jnr, (CH 27 yards) won the 440 yards handicap from MD Robertson (CH 24 yards) and TW Young (CH);

*Patterson of QPFC made the most of his 72 yards start in the handicap to win.   nearly 40 competed, “when the long line of pedestrians were sent on their journey …” 

*RM Walker (Ayr FC 82 yards) won the Mile from C McCann (CH  95 yards)  “anther very big field demonstrated the difficulty the back markers had…”

*Two Miles handicap:  1st AG Colquhoun (CH  125 yards) from A Hannah, Jnr (CH  scratch) by half a dozen yards.

William Wilton, Rangers 

The next annual sports were at Ibrox on 4th July, 1891.   There had been another at Barrowfield Park in May which had been pushed back because of the weather and the re-dated meeting incurred a loss.   The annual sports at Ibrox were held and they were “ a huge success numerically, athletically and financially, and enabled us not only to discharge all our debts but to leave a balance at the credit of the club.”   The meeting was reported under the headline ‘CLYDESDALE HARRIERS SPORTS’.   The report said that the weather was dull and gloomy at the start but brightened up later on when the largest crowd ever seen at an athletic meeting in Scotland put in an appearance.   In the principal races, the Mile was won by Small of Cliftonville AC in Ireland after Hannah had dropped out – running from scratch, he started off with a great rush and reduced the gap on his rivals early one but called time when he had great difficulty getting through the ‘great crowd’ of competitors.   In the 220 yards, where the meeting record stood to the credit of T Blair (QPFC), the winner was McLeod of Glasgow University, running from scratch, from Finlayson (QPFC, off three and a half yards) with Blair failing to finish.    

In the twenty first century, football demands exclusivity and there are many examples of that: not least when this professional sport demands public money to develop their sport while they refuse to take part in many joint community sports forums.   But the Harriers Sports, at one of the best football grounds in the country saw representatives from Rangers, Queen’s Park, Dunfermline, Morton, St Mirren, Killearn, Maryhill and Irvine football clubs.   The ‘cross-fertilisation’ was good for both sports.

Tom Blair

The Harriers had two sports meetings in 1892, in May and on the traditional date of the first Saturday in July.  The report in the club handbook on the meeting reads:   “Sports Meetings were held by the club in May and July at Ibrox Park and from an Athletic point of view were most successful but from a combination of causes – chiefly a a great Political Demonstration held on the day of our July meeting – we regret that the meetings resulted in a financial loss.   The meeting on 2nd July will be chiefly remembered on account of the magnificent performances by WH Morton, of the Salford Harriers, who broke the Scottish records for the One Mile and Two Miles Flat Races, for NA McLeod’s record in the 220 yards, and W Malcolm’s record in the half-mile flat races, and also for the fine Exhibition of Bicycle Riding by E Leitch of the London Polytechnic Club. who succeeded in breaking the existing record for the half-mile.”   The great political demonstration referred to was the visit to Glasgow of Gladstone who visited the Liberal Club, and also spoke at the Theatre Royal.   It is maybe difficult to see a politician’s visit to Glasgow in the twenty first century adversely affecting attendance at a sports fixture.   It was an excellent sports from the club’s point of view with most prizes being won by club members, especially in the half-mile where all three placed runners came from Clydesdale.   

The following year the club sports were held on 8th July, 1893, Ibrox Park with a supplementary meeting on the following Monday.   The report in the club handbook reads:  Unfortunately the weather on both occasions, and especially on the Saturday, was of such an unpropitious nature as to almost completely spoil the attendance of the public.   Great efforts had been put forth to make these Meetings worthy of the standing of the Club, the prizes being of exceptionally high value, but owing to the adverse weather conditions  the club was involved in considerable pecuniary loss.; which however the club are hopeful of clearing off during the season.   The athletic ability at these meetings was, as usual, of a very high order, but in consequence of the sodden nature of the track, record performances could scarcely be expected. … On the Monday evening TW Messenger of the Salford Harriers, and now a member of the CH, made a successful attack on the 220 yards record which he lowered by two-fifth seconds.   All the events were ably contested.”   

The ‘Glasgow Herald’ report referred to ‘the thunderstorm which broke over the city on Saturday forenoon’ and said that as the afternoon progressed the crowd reached 4000.   Changed days when a crowd of 4000 at an athletics meeting is seen as a disaster by the organising committee.   The competitors were indeed of very high quality – in the 100 yards were Hugh Barr (CH) Scottish long jump champion and international sprinter, JR Gow (CH and Rangers), Tom Blair (QPFC) but the winner was William Gibson (CH) from Gow.   The Mile handicap was won by Hamilton of Maryhill Harriers from Robertson of Clydesdale, and the same duo finished in the same order in the half-mile.   The Three Miles was won by Thomas from Ranelagh Harriers from G Stevenson from Ayr FC.   There was quality all through the programme and the range of clubs was wide with Queen’s Park, Rangers, Clyde, and 3rd LRV among the Glasgow football clubs represented on the track.   

LEAD Technologies Inc. V1.01

In 1894 the sports were held on 30th June and at Hampden rather than Ibrox.   The report from the club annual handbook (emphasis in the second para is mine) says:

“Our annual sports took place this year at Hampden Park  –  the Saturday meeting on 30th June and an Evening Meeting on the following Monday.   The sport provided on both occasions was such as to ought to have secured one of the largest gates of the season, but notwithstanding a brilliant array of talent, and excellent weather on the Saturday, the attendance of the public was disappointingly small, the consequence being a financial deficiency.    On Monday the conditions were most unfavourable, and any opportunity  that remained of recouping ourselves for Saturday’s loss was completely spoiled by rain.   This bad luck has now attended us for three successive seasons, but we trust that there are brighter days in store for us.   

“One of the most interesting events in connection with the Saturday meeting, was the Inter-Club Team Race with the Newcastle Harriers (for the Silver Challenge Cup presented for competition by them last season), when our Team, consisting of Messrs A Hannah, W Robertson, A Russell and J McLaren, were successful in winning the trophy for the second time, which according to the conditions of contest, becomes our property.”  

The Harriers won the silver cup for the two miles race against Newcastle by 21 points and Hannah won the individual race by 15 yards from Lyall of Newcastle.   

In 1895 the Annual Sports were held at Ibrox Park again on 29th June an all that the handbook had to say about the meeting was that “although not quite so successful financially as anticipated, partly on account of the weather and partly to a counter-attraction in the form of a yacht race, we managed to have a balance on the right side.”   It had been a successful meeting with very good athletes throughout the programme.  Not always in their best events.   For instance RS Langlands of Clydesdale Harriers won the 1000 yards handicap in 2:21.4 without exerting himself – Langlands would go on to be the first Scot to run under two minutes for the half-mile.   Further up the distance scale, the Two Miles handicap was won by W Robertson from S Duffus with A Hannah dropping out with two laps to go.   Fifteen men started but only two finished.   It is of interest to note that Alex Maley won his heat of the 100 yards but was unplaced in the final.   Tom Maley had been a top class athlete, Willie won the SAAU 100 yards and Alex was the younger brother of the three and like the others, he went on to become a football manager.

Willie Maley, Clydesdale Harriers and, later Celtic,, who won the Scottish 100 yards as a Clydesdale Harrier




As I look through old periodicals, newspapers, programmes, etc, there are some items or quotes or pictures that are of interest because they are unusual, significant, quaint or of high quality but don’t exactly fit in anywhere.   Some of them will find their way here,   First on the link between football and athletics – note the ‘it is part of their mission to …’

“Hampden Park will not be complete until the cinder pah is in better order than it was on Saturday.   Far too little attention has been given to this necessary and vital equipment, but now that the Queen’s Park have come to recognise that it is part of their mission to foster amateur athletics it is just possible they will overhaul the track before another season comes round.” 

Glasgow Herald, 20th June, 1910

This appeared after a successful QPFC Sports meeting on 18th June.


“In the flat races, JW Struth, Clyde, was first for the quarter mile.”

Kilmarnock Police Sports, 23 July 1909.


“The new rector of Glasgow High School, who is a firm believer in the beneficent results of outdoor exercise, is bent on having a new recreation field.   As it is, he has been promised a new subscription amounting to £300 from a few ‘old boys’.   The idea is to purchase ground in the Anniesland District, and the Academical idea will be followed as closely as funds will permit.   The undertaking is a big one indeed and the many wealthy citizens who owe so much to their educational associations with the High School, the Rector’s wish should be realised in good time.

Glasgow Herald, 17/1/1910


Expenses are always a thorny subject ….

“The question of expenses is a burning one in athletic circles.   There are inconsistencies which are difficult to argue away.   For example, an amateur athlete may not ask for or receive expenses – not even his bare travelling expenses – yet a delegate of the AAA or SAAA may (and invariably does) receive his travelling expenses to go and vote against expenses being allowed to his fellow athletes.”


A Scotsman wins the AAA’s Mile – Graham Everett (Shettleston) in 1958

In the 1980’s there were several Scottish athletes studying and running at the University of Alabama.  I had been coaching two of them – Susan Crawford and Pat Morris – and  the group also included Liz Lynch and Elspeth Turner.  The men’s media guide cover and middle page are below.