Bob McCaig 1916-2008

Bob on his 90th birthday

The outstanding success of Wallasey Athletic Club in the late 50's and the
60's was in no small way due to the enthusiasm and encouragement shown by Bob. He gave generously of his time, illegally transporting an incredible number of club athletes in his Morris Oxford to destinations ranging from Arrowe Park to the Lake District and Peterborough, in the days before seat belts were fitted.
I well remember hitch-hiking with Margaret, my wife to be, on a deserted rural road in Derbyshire, hoping not to miss the start of an important race at some distant venue. Eventually a lone car appeared over the horizon and as it approached we were conscious of a ridiculously overcrowded vehicle. It stopped and we realised it already contained no fewer than eleven members of Wallasey Athletic Club. Somehow Bob managed to get us on board and we got to the race on time.

This was a typical journey for Bob in the days when few people had cars and most Sunday mornings he would tour Wallasey and the surrounding areas to collect the younger members and take a dozen or more to Arrowe Park for a training session. Bob's encouragement from the road-side at various points throughout road races was always much appreciated by club members.

Another fond memory involved the club's Christmas Handicap which used to start and finish on Leasowe Road at the end of the cinder path of Telegraph Lane. Bob was probably first man away and I was last off. Down we went to the end of Leasowe Road then turned right opposite Pasture Road and back along the embankment. By the turn for home off the embankment all had been caught except for Bob. Entering the cinder path from Green Lane with a couple of hundred yards to go I saw him and gave chase. However, Bob looked back and saw me and took off like a startled rabbit and was first man home.

The help and encouragement which Bob gave to Kevin Mather was certainly a factor in Kevin's very successful track racing career and I suspect Kevin's best mile time is still to be beaten by a club athlete.

I am sure that I speak for many of my contemporaries when I say "Thanks Bob for everything".

John Wright