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Past Members Page 1 - Continue to page 2
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This page is
designed to record any knowledge or contact we receive from or about our past
members. If you hear anything about our ex athletes, please get in touch
with Gordon Innes
It is with much regret that we have received the sad
news that one of our longest standing members, Jimmy
Christie, has passed away at the age of 82 years.
Jimmy had been in hospital for some
weeks, having suffered a number of strokes from which he failed to
recover. Jimmy first joined Victoria Park on the
28th May 1946 and was still competing in July 2012 at the
grand age of 81 years throwing the Javelin and Shot Putt
in Dunfermline at the Scottish Athletics Masters’
During his years of membership of
Victoria Park, Jimmy was involved in most aspects of
volunteering within the Club – Coaching, Team Managing,
Officiating and sitting on the Committee as Vice President
and President for a period of time in the late 60s-early
70s. It was in the early 70s that Jimmy began
competing as a Veteran athlete and clearly enjoyed
representing his club in Pentathlon events and taking part
in Glasgow Marathons and Half Marathons.
He was also a long time member of
the Scottish Veteran Harriers Club. His boundless
energy would have been a credit to people half his age and
Victoria Park City of Glasgow will be made poorer by his
passing. He has been a true role-model.
Jimmy was a very recognisable figure within the Scottish
Athletics community and will be sadly missed by all who
knew him. Our sincere condolences go to his family
Jimmy’s funeral will be held at
Craigton Cemetery, Berryknowes Road, Cardonald, Glasgow,
G52 2DB on Monday 22nd July at 1.30pm.
Ronnie Whitelock, one of our best
loved and respected life members passed away in Hospital
late on Friday the 7th of December with his family around
Born in 1932, Ronnie joined
Victoria Park at Scotstoun as a junior in 1947. He
was clearly an exceptionally talented sprinter and he was
quickly promoted to the senior squad where he was coached
by the late Willie McFarlane.
early years, he served
his apprenticeship at John Browns shipyard before securing
his long term future in the drawing office. It was
there that his colleagues fashioned a set of starting
blocks from a 4”x4” block of wood and two off cuts of
aluminium. Those very starting blocks were used
throughout what was to become a very illustrious career.
In his early career, he enjoyed
success at the Rangers Sports, the Police Sports and a
variety of Highland Games at the then venues of Ibrox
Stadium, Hampden Park, Helenvale and Westerlands.
In 1956 he was part of the winning
Victoria Park 4x110 yards relay team at the Scottish
Championships in Meadowbank. The team was Alan
Dunbar, Bobby Quinn, Harry Quinn and Ronnie. This
group became lifelong friends and up until quite recently
they would meet regularly and rib each other about past
1957 was probably his best year on
the track, winning gold at the Scottish Championships over
100 yards with a time of 9.8 seconds, winning gold in the
4x110 yards relay, competing for Scotland and competing
for Great Britain against Russia at White City. The
latter earning him life membership of Victoria Park.
He went on to win two more Scottish
sprint titles in 1959 and 1962. He was a member of
the winning Victoria Park 4x110 yards relay teams on four
occasions and represented Scotland in at least four
Once his successful career as an athlete was over he continued
as a coach for many years and many younger athletes
benefitted from his experience. Ronnie had a great
sense of humour and he was always popular with the
Always keen to be involved in
athletics he became a track referee, a track judge and a
marksman. He officiated over many years at all
levels and made a name for himself as a track referee for
disability athletics. He was much sought after and
for many years was the track referee at the Bute Highland
He was still officiating last
winter within the Kelvin Hall and he was present at
Victoria Park Glasgow’s last but one agm.
His last trip to Scotstoun was in
October this year to see the Club’s newly completed
display cabinet. Thanks to his generosity, the
centre piece of the display is those very same starting
blocks which were made for him in the 1950’s with his
handmade leather running shoes in situ.
who knew Ronnie said he was a lovely kind man “a
gentleman”. He’ll be greatly missed by all.
His funeral will take place at 3pm
on Thursday the 13th of December at Clydebank Crematorium.
All friends and club-mates are invited to join his wife
Irene, son Donald and daughter Elspeth for the service.
The family have requested no black ties. Club
colours would be a nice touch.
1956 - 2012
The entire athletics community has
been saddened to hear of the death on Wednesday of former
Belfast and Dublin marathon winner Moira (O’Boyle) O'Neill
who passed away at her home after a long struggle with
cancer. O’Neill only last week celebrated her 56th
birthday. Daughter of famous Donegal athlete Cyril
O’Boyle, Moira was prominent in the sport as a teenager in
Scotland, to where the family had moved in the late
sixties. She won the Scottish Intermediate (U17) and
Scottish Senior cross country titles in her first year in
the grade. Her father had been Irish mile champion
on a number of occasions while her mother Noreen also took
up the sport late in life.
The family returned home to
Glenswilly in the 1980s and Moira took a job as a
community worker in Belfast and through her work was
well-known in the Markets area of the city. She was
also for a period the manager of the Whiterock Leisure
Despite being successful on the
track and cross country, it was the marathon that brought
the former Victoria Park, Glasgow athlete her greatest
successes. She made a winning debut over the 26.2
mile distance in Derry in 1982 before going on to claim
victories in Belfast (1985 & 1986) and Dublin (1988). Her
time in Dublin of two hours, 37 minutes and seven seconds
is still the second fastest ever by a Northern Ireland
She had come to prominence in
January 1972 when she was part of the Victoria Park
Intermediate Girls team that won the Scottish Womens Road
Relay and later that year became Victoria Park's Ladies
That same year, at only 16 years of
age she won the Intermediate 1500m at the SWAAA
Championships with a PB of 4:44.1 and followed that
achievement with a bronze medal in the SWAAA 3,000m with a
time of 10:21.6.
A major triumph for Moira came in
1973 when she won the SWCCU CC Championship in Edinburgh
and was over a minute ahead of the rest of the field.
She represented NI at two Commonwealth Games taking
eighth in Edinburgh in 1986 and twelfth in Auckland four
years later. Earlier she had also run for Scotland
at the International Cross Country Championships in Monza,
Italy. She was a member of the British team that
took gold medals at the World Student Games Cross Country.
Moira is survived by husband Gerry O’Neill from
Portrush, a former marathon runner, her father Cyril,
mother Noreen and sister Pat.
Thanks to information
A Life In Athletics
Inside Track Blogspot.
New Life Member
membership of VP-Glasgow has been granted to Doug Gillon
for his services to athletics in Scotland. Doug, who
was for 34 years the Herald's
Correspondent retired from full time work last
year and although he continues to write a fortnightly
column, has recently moved to a new home in Cornwall.
Doug was back in Glasgow on a personal visit and took time
out to receive our certificate of life membership from the
covered his first major sporting event when the
Commonwealth Games came to Edinburgh in 1970 and since
then has covered every summer Olympics since he attended
Munich in 1972 and every World Championship since 1983.
Over the years he was awarded
British Sports Journalism
Awards and a
life-time achievement prize at the Scottish Press Awards.
became a member of Victoria Park AAC when he moved to
Glasgow in the late 60's. He competed in middle
distance events and the 400m hurdles.
Appropriately, the certificate awarded to Doug was printed
and embossed with the Club's badge and colours back in the
delighted to receive the award and hoped to be back in
Glasgow to meet up with old Club mates when we officially
open our new display cabinet.
Alan Sisson Dunbar
Born: February 26, 1934; Died: July 1, 2011.
Alan Dunbar, who has died aged 77 after a long
illness, was a former athlete and drama lecturer who
went on to become a successful journalist and
He was a man of many parts and sometimes conflicting
roles. Luminaries from all realms of his life were
present at his self-planned funeral at an Edinburgh
hotel, the first ever held there, and heard tributes
from family, to whom he was devoted, and former
Winner of the
Scottish 100 yards title in 1955 and
1956 after earning his full blue at Glasgow University
in 1954, Mr Dunbar had an unorthodox “flappy” arm
action which was certainly eye-catching but for
whatever reason, possibly his bad luck with muscle
injuries, he was still overlooked for the 1956
Melbourne Olympic Games by the British selectors.
Mr Dunbar even defied the head of drama at the Royal
Scottish Academy of Music and Drama to run in the
Scottish Championships in 1955 when the college
graduation clashed with the event.
Originally from Stranraer, where he won the Scottish
junior 100 yards titles in 1951 and 1952, the year he
also captured the AAA junior crown, Mr Dunbar went on
to represent Scotland in the 1958 Empire Games in
Cardiff, winning his first round heat before going out
in the second round.
A member for many years of the legendary sprint team
of Glasgow club Victoria Park AC, who monopolised the
Scottish 4x100 metres relay championship throughout
the 1950s, he amassed trophies galore. Yet he was
certainly not someone who let his running do the
In 1957 he
withdrew from the final of the national 220
yards at New Meadowbank in Edinburgh (the forerunner
of the 1970 Commonwealth Games stadium) in protest at
the condition of the then cinder track and he later
organised an unsuccessful petition, backed by abound
50 athletes, against further use of the venue for
No wonder one headline described him as the “Stormy
Petrel of the Track”.
His transition to broadcaster and sportswriter was a
natural one when he hung up his spikes in 1961 and
became the voice of athletics on Radio Clyde and the
scourge of the Scottish selectors as a fearless and
regular contributor to the Evening Citizen and The
Mr Dunbar was one of a loyal and dwindling band of
reporters who covered the sport week in, week out, no
matter the weather and even when illness severely
hampered his mobility.
In tandem with his media work, he also continued his
career in drama, lecturing at Langside College in
Glasgow from 1956 to 1963 and, until 1971, at the
city’s Central College of Commerce.
Moving to Edinburgh he changed to communication at the
then Napier College and eight years later became a
much esteemed senior lecturer in communication at
Queen Margaret College, a post he held for the next 10
A period of illness persuaded him to retire but he
soon began branching out, accepting an invitation to
become a guest director at Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
For the next 20 years he was a permanent member
of staff of Edinburgh Acting School, directing many
shows with, according to principal Anna Finline,
“great enthusiasm, expertise and intellect”.
It was typical of the man that he directed his final
He is survived by Margaret, his wife of over 50 years;
two daughters, Stephanie and Sara; two sons, Jonathan
and Alan; and two granddaughters Georgia and Bryony.
has very generously donated a collection of old Club
Yearbooks from the years 1950-1965. If you click on
the image (right) you can see the inside pages
highlighting the Club Honours list up to 1950.
Rab is a long time member of the
Club who is still competing at the age of 70 years and won
his first Scottish vest in 2006, competing as a Vet in the British and Irish Cross Country
He inherited some of the yearbooks
and Cross Country Programme's from Dougie Campbell who was
a member of the Club from 1954 till 1969. Rab tells
me that although Dougie is older than he is and his sight
is fading, he still trains regularly at Nethercraigs.
Thanks to Rab and Dougie for their
generosity, we'll take good care of their collection and
hopefully display some of it within our planned cabinet at
Bob has once again been in touch after unearthing more treasures
from within his Garage. He was having a clearout
recently and found two old pairs of running spikes.
Both were handmade in 1952 by a
cobler who used to visit the athletes when they were
training at Scotstoun Stadium.
Once ordered, the shoes were
usually finished and returned within seven days.
The shoes pictured right have
hardly been worn and it's our intention to put them on
display along with other memorabilia within Scotstoun
Stadium in the near future.
Letter from Chris Steele
It has been
such a long time since I last thought about the club that
saw me through a great time in my life and it was good to
see some familiar faces on the club web site. I am
recalling things that I did every day since I looked at
the website about ten days ago.
I remember my
first night well, it was the club 400m Championships and I
didn’t know it at the time, but that was all I was
expected to do. I later went on the 2 mile run with
Graham and a group of boys the same age as me. It
was my PE teacher at Victoria Drive Secondary that pointed
me in the right direction and to be honest I didn’t look
back. I was 12 at the time and I still do remember
all the training runs that we went on, 2 miles (round the
block), 2 ½ miles (up to crow road), 3 ½ miles (Mcandrew),
4 miles (up to Great Western Road), 6 miles (the canal
run) as well as the odd run through the Clyde Tunnel when
there was snow on the ground. I remember the club
races and time trials that we had throughout the winter
season and the competition that we had (Speedo, Scott
Queen, Colin Allison etc). I still have trophies
from the club to celebrate this.
I also remember
the training sessions in the Kelvin Hall (20x200m with a
200m jog recovery) on a Monday night and the track
sessions on the gravel track and the old saying that if
you can run 60 seconds for 400m on this track you can run
58 seconds for 400m on any other track. The changing
rooms have obviously changed, but I remember giving my
money in to a guy who sat with the big dog (sorry can’t
remember their names) and then Wallace telling the group
what he wanted them to do. The Saturday morning runs
in Milngavie in-between the track season and the cross
country season were something else and I thoroughly
enjoyed them. I glad to see that the McAndrew Road
Relays are still being held and I hope that the dance is
still going strong.
In terms of the track season I
remember Crown Point, Dam Park, Pitreavie, Grangemouth
with its cycle track around the outside of it, Westlands
and Dumfries. Towards the end of my time at Victoria
Park I remember that the West District Championships were
always between three athletes, one from Ayr (I think
Michael Gill), myself and one from another club and we
always took it turn to win the races that we did.
The Young Athletes Athletics League was the best, having
to do not only your best event (sometimes not even that)
but also a range of other events. I recently found a
picture of me at Pitreavie receiving a plate which was for
the, I believe, teams who just missed out on the Young
Athletes League Final. I remember the first time I
broke 2 minutes for the 800m, a week after Graham gave me
the biggest kick up the back side ever was at Dam Park in
the West District Championships after coming back from
about 6 months off with an Achilles injury.
the cross country season I enjoyed myself the most.
My last Scottish national Championships was at Irvine
where I finished 7th, I also remember all the other races
that were held there, the Scottish Cross Country Relays
and the Scottish Schools Cross Country Championships.
I will always remember the dragons back hill after you
come off the beach. The Glasgow Schools
Championships was always held at Pollok Park and I had a
good run there for many a year finishing in the top three
on several occasions. Other courses that I always
remember when I come home is the one at Clydebank and the
one in Arbroath at the end of the season. The best
time though was when I got selected to represent Scotland
at the New Year race in Gateshead and then the week later
running for Great Britain at a race in Lisbon.
When I went to University in Liverpool, I joined Liverpool
Harriers and I soon became a regular in their British
league team for the steeplechase, I was also University
cross country champ as well as Merseyside Champion.
The training at Liverpool was just as hard with training
sessions five days a week.
Since then I have been
teaching in Milton Keynes where I continued to run,
however not train, as the track that the club use is on
the site where I taught. Three years later I moved
to Crewe where I am still based after ten long years.
I am still heavily involved in athletics and cross country
being the Cheshire Schools Boys Cross Country team manager
and my claim to fame is that every year I have been at
school I have had either a county track and field champion
or a student obtaining their county vest. This year
was the county vest at the North West Regional Multi
Events Championships at the end of June.
my time immensely at Victoria Park and I always look out
for athletes from the club at the UK trials every year.
A big hello to all who remember me especially to Graham
who got me through each season with encouragement and hard
work. If only my local club was as friendly as
Victoria Park was.
I wish the club all the best
in the coming year and if I am still in Crewe in four
years time I will be bringing a group of students up to
the Commonwealth Games where I hope to see some of the
clubs athletes representing Scotland.
PS – I can
still remember some of my PB’s
200m – Kelvin Hall –
800m - Wavertree – 1min 56.8secs
- ??? – 3min 54.6secs
between 1987 and 1993
From the 1st of March 2010
the sad news that one of our oldest life members,
Bobby Calderwood died on Monday the 1st of March after
a long illness. Bobby, who was 78 is survived by
his wife Cathy,
his sons John and Alec and his daughter Andrea.
Alec had recently returned from New Zealand and Andrea
from London to be with their father.
joined Victoria Park in 1950 as a talented 19 year old
and won his first National medal in the Scottish
Youths Cross Country Championships that same year.
He again won Gold in 1952 as part of the Victoria Park
team that won the Scottish Junior Cross Country
He was a winner again with the
senior team that won the Scottish Cross Country
Championships in 1956, 57 and 58. Bobby's peers
said that he had an ungainly running action but was
determined and very competitive in competition and
He was a regular winner also of the
Edinburgh to Glasgow Road Relay Race, Victoria Park
were 1st in 1952, 54, 56 and 57 where he ran the 5 and
a half mile 1st leg from St Andrews Square in
Edinburgh to Maybury Cross. As you can see in
the below pictures, Bobby had the honour of carrying
the special champions baton from the Lord Provost of
Edinburgh to the Lord Provost of Glasgow on several
Scotland at the Cross Country Internationals in 1956
and 57 and as a result was awarded Life Membership of
Long after his running career
ended, he continued to assist with coaching VP's young
athletes at Scotstoun and was the club handicapper
until quite recently.
Bobby's son John sent in the
picture of Bobby's old running buddies (right).
Our own Andy Forbes is 2nd from the right, if you can
recognise any of the other faces, can you post it on
the message board.
Bobby had in recent years delighted in
donating £1 for every year of his membership prior to
the AGM. His most recent donation was for £60.
Our thoughts are with Cathy, John,
Alec and Andrea at this sad time. I'll post the
information relating to the funeral arrangements here
when I have them.
Ellis passing the baton to Bobby Calderwood.
London to Brighton Road Relay 1952. VPAAC
photograph taken at Milngavie in 1953. The
three athletes in the centre are left to right,
Ronnie Kane, Andy Forbes and Bobby Calderwood.
Calderwood receiving the Champions baton from the
Edinburgh Provost, possibly 1953.
Calderwood receiving the Champions baton from the
Edinburgh Provost, possibly 1955.
Click on the above icon's to view the pictures.
From: The Herald
The sad passing of former Scottish Cross
Country internationalist Bobby Calderwood earlier this
week brings to mind a unique team of which he was very
much part. A team from Victoria Park A.A.C who trained out
of Scotstoun Showgrounds, Whiteinch Baths Mountblow and
the Milngavie Laundry who then crossed the border and took
the English Cross Country Championship out of England
Besides Bobby this team also included an Empire Games
silver medallist Andy Forbes, Scotland's" Zatopek" Ian
Binnie and a young miler from Govan who went on the be an
American Olympian and serve with the US Marines in Vietnam
Alex Breckenridge In 1952 this team travelled to
Birmingham and took on the best clubs of England like
South London Harriers, Belgrave, Birchfield and Bolton Utd
on their own turf and beat them, something that had never
happened before and has only happened once since when
Shettleston Harriers emulated them in 1971.
Hugh Barrow, Milngavie
Highland Way From 21st December 2009
Many thanks to
Peter Wilson who posted a link on the
Message Board to a well edited video from 1987.
The occasion was a successful relay attempt at the
West Highland Way and included many familiar names and
faces including Neil Hogg, Tony Malloy, Peter Wilson,
Barry McKay, Stuart Barnett (speedo), Jason Logan,
David Innes and Robert Blair.
The video itself is dedicated to the memory of
Wallace Crawford 1940-2000, a past Secretary of
Victoria Park who remained in post for more than 25
Follow this link to see the
full 15 minute video.
More information and contact with
past members is recorded at this link.
Past Members Page 1 -