It is always interesting to review team and individual performance after the completion of a season, as they can then be judged in their proper perspective over the season as a whole rather than against one or two performances.
Looking at the past season in this way there is little doubt that Wallasey A.C.'s best individual performers were Roy Parry and Wally Hogarth, while of the club teams the palm must certainly go to the boys, with the youths also having a good season.
From the individual point of view, youth captain, Roy Parry, should perhaps be regarded as Wallasey A.C.'s outstanding athlete of last cross-country season, as although Hogarth did in fact have a greater measure of success it must be remembered that Parry was competing in a higher age group against keener opposition.
Wallasey's leading youth over the past few years has of course been that great young runner, Don Anderson, and it was a severe blow to the club youth team when he fell a victim to cartilage trouble halfway through the season.
Parry, however, rose to the occasion magnificently and he kept the Wallasey colours right up in the front in all the main events.
He was probably a little unfortunate in not achieving an outright championship win, as in both the Cheshire and West Lancashire Championships he came up against a real tartar, having to be content with second place to clubmate Don Anderson and Waterloo's Kevin Gilligan respectively.
However, on both occasions he made his opponents go all the way despite the fact that both these runners must be considered as being amongst the best in the country.
Parry sustained his form right to the end of the season, and in the Northern and National races, when the field is always several hundreds strong, he again excelled by finishing 13th and 32nd respectively. In these races there is very little between the leading runners and Parry's placings compare favourably with anything a Wallasey runner has achieved in these events in recent years.
Parry has improved steadily over the last couple of years during which he as succeeded in developing a well nigh faultless style as well as the ability to get
away really fast. Next year will see him in the junior class (18-21), which means an increase in distance from three to six miles and it remains to be seen how his stamina will stand the test.
Walter Hogarth also retained his form over the whole season and this free striding runner must also be considered a grand prospect. In addition to an easy relaxed style he showed a surprisingly developed sense of tactics in one with so little championship experience and he won both the Cheshire and West Lancs. boys' titles by moving up and taking the lead at the right time.
He was also second in the Liverpool & District and 10th in the Northern which is a fine record for a runner in his first season of real competition.
Hogarth, also moves up next season when he will be in the youth class (16-18) and racing over three instead of two miles.
He will undoubtedly find the pace quite a bit hotter but he is such a natural all round athlete that he can be expected to have another successful season next winter.
Wallasey A.C. have rather come to expect big things from Johnston and sure enough he turned in a brilliant run to win the senior Cheshire championship from a high class fieId. Although this was undoubtedly one of his finest efforts, his form after this unaccountably deteriorated and during the rest of the season he never approached his normal form. Don Anderson won the Cheshire youth title on the same day after a thrilling tussle with Roy Parry, when he produced that devastating finish that has won him so many races.
The most successful Wallasey A.C. team was undoubtedly the boys, who won the Cheshire and West Lancs. titles and were second in the Liverpool & District only after the application of the rules to decide a tie in points.
The team gave a fine exhibition of real team running throughput the season, their packing and team spirit making them a really formidable combination.
All these boys except Ken Tunstall will next year be in the youth team and it is hoped that they will once again retain the Cheshire youth title which the club has now won for the past three years.
The Youth team also deserving of much praise, as despite the absence of Don Anderson they succeeded in getting third place in both the Liverpool & District and the West Lancashire Championships. These successes were also gained by spirited team running and Roy Parry, John Warden, Hugh Pritchard, Michael Greenhalgh and Colin Harris deserve every credit for really pulling together.
After Parry, John Warden was the foremost runner and although his form slipped a little towards the end of the season, his running in the Cheshire and Liverpool & District proved him to be a most capable young athlete whose fine physique will stand him in good stead over cross-country courses.
The juniors (18-21) were handicapped as usual by the calls of National Service, but the club have quite a find in David Standfast who proved himself the club's top junior over the season. He turned in good performances quite regularly and with a little more starting pace will trouble the best. He was well supported by Ken Ledward, John Winrow, Ray Scammell and John Lynch and Eric Maddock when available.
The seniors had what was probably their poorest season for many years, only the captain Alan Clarke and Bob Johnston showed anything like good form. Clarke continued to show progress and proved to be a much needed source of strength to the senior team during the season.
The Blair Trophy recently awarded to Len Platt for the most outstanding performance of 1952 by an athlete in the North West area will be presented at Club H.Q., Leasowe Road, on Wednesday evening, May 20. Members and friends of the club are asked to make a special effort to attend and make the occasion a worthy one.
Club championships to be held next Wednesday evening are the senior 5 miles, women's 220 yards and the youths javelin.