At the annual meeting of the Wallasey Athletic Club at their headquarters in Leasowe Road, on September 28 the general secretary Mr. J. N. Wright reported a year of many achievements from the various sections of the club, with individual successes in events of national standards.
He looked forward to the new season in which club members would support these senior athletes as the club's younger men moved up into this category. As he said 'We have one of the best road racing teams in the country' and these athletes should be commended for their achievements. C. R. Hewson, the cross country secretary reported a year of mixed success, third in the Waterloo road race with Barlow and Wright third and fourth to Bruce Tulloh and Gerry North respectively: second in the Cheshire championships, with Brian Woolford's great achievements of being second in the Cheshire, second in the Liverpool and District, and third in the West Lancashire championships. The season ended, with the annual Sefton Park road relay in which the club was second. The track secretary reported a good season of track and field events, also road racing, C. W. Gee was commended for his successes in the Cheshire championships, particularly in the discus event, of which he is now Cheshire champion, Brian Woolford and Ron Barlow for their second and third place in the A.A.A. Championship 20 mile race, Woolford showed great form throughout the season to achieve second place in the Morecambe 20 mile 'Red Rose' race and was awarded the 'Most Meritorious Performance' trophy for the year. Mr. J. Prydderch, the hon. treasurer, gave his report and confirmed the sound position of the club with his breezy request at the end that club subscriptions are now due for the season 1962-63.
The election of officers saw Mr. J. Edwards returned unanimously as club president; Mr. J. N. Wright, general secretary; Mr, J. Prydderch, hon. treasurer; Mr. C. R. Hewson, cross country secretary; Mr. B. Chalton, track secretary; club coach, Mr. C. W. Gee; club captain, Mr B. Woolford; women's section, Miss C. Winterburn as captain and secretary, Vice-presidents; Mr. W. Brookes, Mr. C. D. Clove, Capt. J. M. G. Duguid, Mr. C. R. Hewson, Mr. F. K. Ledward, Mr. G. Mason, Mr. R. McCaig, Mr. T. O'Sullivan, Mr. L. H. Platt, Mr. K. A. Rowland (Director of Education), Mr. M. J. Smith, and Mr. E. J. Bolland.
Last Saturday in 71/2 mile road race held in fine conditions at Warrington. Wallasey proved that given good luck and a couple more months of intensive training, this season can be one of the best in the history of the club.
This race, which Wallasey won last year, is held annually to honour, Chris Vose, an athlete who represented Warrington and Great Britain in the Olympic Games in the 1920's, However, this year, annual with the race attracting over 170 entries including several international runners, it was obvious that Wallasey's task would be a hard one to retain the title especially being without Ron Barlow who was running well this summer.
The start of the race produced the usual rush of bodies over the first half mile, leaving many startled pedestrians and one or two dogs looking on in awed respect at so many fit athletes. The field then settled down more with one group which included Fred Howe, and Geoff North of Blackpool, Don Shelley of North Staffs., John Wright of Wallasey and Ron Hill of Bolton; just back from the European Championships at Belgrade where he represented Great Britain in the marathon. At this stage Brian Woolford was moving through the field in his usual manner, while Brian Chalton and Kevin Mather were running easily in the middle of the field.
The pace continued very fast throughout, with Ron Hill taking the lead and showing everyone who was near enough to see him, a clean pair of heels; to win by 25 secs. ahead of Don Shelley. Meanwhile, John Wright, who is not yet fit, had found the early pace to fast for him, had been caught by Brian Woolford and they finished together in fifth and second positions an excellent run indeed. Woolford just back from a holiday in Italy, found that too much spaghetti and sunshine have a slowing effect on the feet. Another week's training and he will be back to his old self.
When these five Wallasey runners are fit and supplemented by Tony Townsend, Billy Morris or Hugh Pritchard, they will be one of the strongest teams in the North of England, but they must all remember that it is 'team spirit' that wins championships and not individual efforts.