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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

 
 

Ian Binnie              1931-2007                                             From 29th July 2007

Ian BinnieSad News appeared in the pages of the Herald Newspaper on Saturday 28th of July.  Ian Binnie it was reported, died last Thursday.  Doug Gillon of the Herald will write a full obituary over the coming days.

Hugh Barrow (Past President) had this to say last night.

Ian Binnie who lost his battle with cancer last Thursday was one of the first Scottish athletes to adopt the training methods of the great Czech Emil Zatopek which took him to a level of training hitherto unheard of in Scotland, sometimes absorbing three sessions a day.

On the back of this he set out to rewrite the record book, which he did.  During the 1950s, Ian won the Scottish 3 and 6 mile title double on three successive seasons - was a member of the famous Victoria Park team that won the English National Cross Country title in 1952 - set 21 Scottish Native records - in 1952 took Gordon Pirie to a World 6 mile record at the White City in London - set a UK and Empire record for the 1 Hour Run at Cowal also in 1952 - was a member of the Victoria Park team that won the Ian leading the Edinburgh to Glasgow RelayEdinburgh - Glasgow Relay on 7 occasions - represented Scotland at the Empire Games 1945 in Vancouver and again in 1958 in Cardiff.  He simply was ahead of his time and set standards for others to follow.

Tales of Ian are legion and far too numerous to mention.  Controversy followed him everywhere,  even to the incident when he asked a cyclist to carry his baton for him in the Edinburgh-Glasgow and a rival from a club south of the Clyde took offence and threw the bike and rider into a field.

A full appreciation by Doug Gillon will appear in the Herald this week.

 

 

Death of David Mars                                                               From 18th June 2007

Douglas Mars informed us that his brother David died while on Holiday by the Red Sea on Sunday the 6th of May at the age of 59.

David was an active member of the Club in the mid to late 60's and regularly competed in the Edinburgh to Glasgow Road Relay Race.

David had been a pupil at Hyndland Secondary School and a student at Glasgow University.  He went on to have a successful career as an Analyst with a major High Street Bank.

 

 
In Memory of Suzanne Benyon                                                  From 12th April 2007

Suzanne BenyonIn October 2006, Suzanne Benyon a great young runner and a member of City Of Glasgow AC tragically died.

Suzanne won many track, road and cross country races and competed regularly for Scotland at a wide range of distances and disciplines.

Instead of flowers at the funeral, her husband and family asked for donations to be made to the Tower Hill Stables Animal Sanctuary.  The 1240 which has been raised is going to be put towards the field shelter appeal.   A plaque in memory of Suzanne will be set in place on the shelter later this year.

For further information please visit this link.

 

 
Willie Jack                                                                         From 2nd November 2006

Willie Jack winning the Invitation Sprint at Ibrox in 1951, just ahead of Bobby Quinn.In May of 2006, Anne Little whose father was a past Secretary of the Milngavie Highland Games Committee found a trophy in her loft.  The trophy was made in recognition of Willie Jacks participation in the 1952 Olympic Games in Helsinki, Finland, where he reached the semi final of the 100m.

Unfortunately for the Highland Games Committee, Willie was in great demand when he returned to Scotland and was unable to collect the trophy in person.  The presentation was originally postponed and eventually forgotten about until Anne found the trophy in her loft 54 years later.

Anne contacted our past President Hugh Barrow and with the help of Bobby Quinn who spoke to Willie at our 75th Anniversary Dinner, he was traced to West Kilbride.

Finally in November 2006, Willie received his silver trophy from Anne Little.  Well done Anne and congratulations Willie. 

 

Death of Frank Beattie                                                         From 10th July 2006

We received the very sad news today that Frank Beattie died at Drumchapel Hospital on Saturday 8th of July.  He was 96 years of age and in very good health until he suffered a stroke in April of this year.

Frank was the last surviving founder member of the Club.  He was one of the group of athletes who formed Victoria Park Athletics Club on the 4th of April 1930.

Frank was in attendance at the Clubs 75th Anniversary dinner last year and thoroughly enjoyed his celebrity status.  He held court with all of those in attendance and gave us all an insight into the early years of the Club and the characters who made the club famous.

His late brother Sam was a life member of the Club and was the first Victoria Park athlete to wear a Great Britain vest.  Frank himself was a fine athlete and a mentor to many of the athletes who went on to make Victoria Park the success it was in the 50's and 60's.

After he finished competing as an athlete, he continued to help with the administration of the club and held many posts on the various committees including a period as Club Treasurer.

Even in retirement, he kept in touch and called the current Club Secretary on a couple of occasions just to share a funny story and recount an amusing tale from the past.

Frank will be sadly missed by everyone at the club who new him.

His funeral will take place at 3pm on Wednesday the 12th of July 2006 at Clydebank Crematorium.  All of his old friends and club-mates are invited to join his son Alan and daughter in law Christine for the service and afterwards at the West Park Hotel, Great Western Road, Clydebank.

 

 
Email from Bobby Calderwood                                           From 3rd June 2006

The "unknown" in the back row top left of Bob Izatt's interesting photo was Neillie McKechnie who was our "trainer" along with Murdy McDonald.  Their valuable contribution was massaging our legs after training which helped keep injuries at bay especially important in those days of thin sandshoes.  They were also a welcome sight at the end of races with a "scoosh" of water.

Regards,  Bobby Calderwood 

 

 
Bob Izzatt                                                                           From 12th May 2006

Bob IzzattBob Izzatt called in on the Club Secretary to drop off some old photographs and to ask after some of his old training partners.

Bob joined Victoria Park in 1937 as a 16 year old and competed for the club into the mid 1950's.  His specialist event was the half mile but he took part in road races and cross country whenever he could.

Although out of the nine scoring places, he was part of the twelve man team that won the National Cross Country Union Championships at Hamilton Racecourse on the 1st of March 1952.

The picture right, shows what we believe to be the winning team with the trophy at Hamilton.  Back row from left, Not Known, R Gibson, Ian Walls, Duncan McFarlane, John Stirling, Robert Izzatt and Murdo MacDonald.  Front row from left, Jimmy Simpson, Ronnie Kane, Chick Forbes, Andy Forbes, Jimmy Ellis, Jimmy McClure and Dougie Shuttleworth.

Click here for a larger imageIn his time at the club he trained at least twice a week at Scotstoun and once a week at Mountblow.  The cross country training runs at Milngavie were similar to the current route although the athletes would get stripped in the laundry at the foot of Clober Road.

Bob was a plant engineer for most of his working life, having served his time with Barr and Stroud at Anniesland.

Although now 85, he is still very active and plays golf twice a week at Bishopbriggs Golf Club and he also turns out regularly to support his favourite Rugby Club, the Glasgow Hawks.

 

 
Hugh Barrow                                                                     From 30th March 2006

Hugh Barrow at Scotstoun 1961Hugh Barrow has been in touch to let us know that he had been browsing the web site and wanted to contribute a couple of old photographs for our collection.

Hugh first became a member of Victoria Park back in 1958.  He's pictured right running in front of a big crowd at Scotstoun in 1961.

The second picture is an invitation 3000 metres at White City London in 1968.  The other athletes are Gaston Roelants (Olympic Steeplechase Champion 1964) and Ian Macafferty (Commonwealth Silver medallist in the 5000m in 1970).

Hugh Barrow behind Ian Macafferty in 1968Hugh still features in three of our club records, the 4x400 yards relay time of 3:18.6 which was set in Glasgow on the 18th of May 1968, the 1600 metres medley time of 3:23.7 which was set in Glasgow on 24th May 1969 and the 1 mile medley time of 3:23.1 which was set in Liverpool on the 5th August 1967.

He was President of the club from 1972 till 1977 and again from 1986 till 1992.

He finally retired from running in 1993.

Hugh is currently the Club Secretary of Glasgow Hawks Rugby Club with the additional responsibility of maintaining their web site.

 


 
Sid Ellis                                                                             From 22nd February 2006

Sid Ellis at the finish of the Edinburgh to Glasgow RelayFraser Ellis contacted the Club on behalf of his father Sid Ellis who was a member back in the 1950's along with his brothers Jimmy and Norrie. 

Fraser introduced Sid to the web site recently and it brought back a few memories. 

Sadly Jimmy and Norrie are no longer with us but Fraser tells us that Sid still turns out to watch the McAndrew faithfully every year.

 

From left: Sid, Jimmy and Norrie Ellis.

 

He has sent in some memorable photographs from the 50's which we will include on the web site in the near future.

The picture above shows Sid at the finish of the Edinburgh to Glasgow Road Relay Race.

Unfortunately the Edinburgh to Glasgow Road Relay Race is no longer with us but Victoria Park won the event 7 times.

Norrie Ellis takes over from Ian Binnie during the Edinburgh to Glasgow Relay

 

The above picture shows all three of the Ellis brothers with from the left, Sid, Jimmy and Norrie.

The picture on the right shows Norrie Ellis receiving the baton from Ian Binnie.

We now have a tremendous collection of pictures from that era and I'm looking forward to showcasing them on the site.

If your at the McAndrew this year Sid, remember to say hello.


 
David Adam                                                                     From 6th January 2006

David Adam contacted the Club on behalf of his father Jimmy Adam to say hello. He decided to look up his old Athletic Club on the internet and found the web site.  Jimmy ran for Victoria Park in the 1940's as a junior and did exceptionally well.  He sent in this photo from the 1946 season and the team are the Junior 1/2 mile, mile and relay champions.  Jimmy is the tall one on the right. He was about 17 at the time.  He was very interested in the club history from 1930 to 1970.

Jimmy joined in 1946 having been encouraged by Peter Morrison and he remembers a lot of the names like the Forbes brothers and Alex Breckenridge amongst others. He himself is a life member but has obviously lost touch through various moves over the years. He was made a life member after winning an event in Birmingham.  We think he left the club around about 1952.

 


 
Death of Chick Forbes                                                  From 23rd December 2005

Chic (left) with Ian Binnie in 1954We received the sad news yesterday, Thursday the 22nd, that Charles Forbes died aged 80 at Greenbank Nursing Home, Irvine.  Chick as he was known, was a Life Member of Victoria Park.

Chick and his brother Andy were members of the famous Victoria Park Relay team that in 1952 became the only Club outside of England to win the English National Cross-Country Championship.  The other members of that winning team were John Stirling, Ronnie Kane, Jimmy Ellis and Ian Binnie.

He had been ill for some time and was unable to attend the 75th Anniversary Dinner but we are reliably informed that he enjoyed having the signed menu cards read out to him.  His former team mates spoke very fondly of him and he was greatly missed on the night.

We have sent a message of condolence from the Club to Chick's daughter Rosalind Dunn and her husband Steve, but should anyone wish to send their own personal message, please contact Gordon Innes for their current address.

His funeral has been arranged for Thursday the 29th December 2005 at 3 P.M. at Holmsford Bridge Crematorium, by Dreghorn, Irvine.  An announcement has been placed in the Glasgow Herald and the Scotsman stating "all friends respectfully invited".

An obituary will appear in The Herald this week.

 

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