International Cross-Country: 1960

When the International Cross Country Championships came to Hamilton again in 1960, it was again only men, and the competing nations had dropped from ten to eight: Scotland, England, Ireland, Wales, France, Belgium, Spain and Morocco – the last being the first African country to take part and they finished fourth team.   The Scottish team was chosen from the National Cross-Country championship where Graham Everett (Shettleston), won after a torrid duel with Alastair Wood (Shettleston), after whom came Andy Brown (Motherwell YMCA), Joe Connolly, R Irving (both Bellahouston) and E Sinclair (Springburn).    The race was run over the well-known Hamilton Park course which was to be used for the international.   

Most Scottish papers mentioned the event in passing and agreed with the Aberdeen Evening Express which said 


Of the International, Colin Shields has this to say: “Alastair Wood led the Scots team home to fifth place – one place better than the previous year and, more importantly, with 62 points fewer on the scoreboard.   Wood finished seventh, with Everett 22 and Bruce Tulloh, the British 3 mile record holder, taking advantage of his Scots parentage to turn out for Scotland and finish twenty third in a race won by A Rhadi, the Moroccan who was to win the Olympic Games Marathon Silver Medal in Rome six months later.”

Faint praise there from Colin but better than the out and out criticism of some of the previous Scottish teams in the international.    The Glasgow Herald report on the race was as below.

How did the result measure up to the comments in the Evening Express on the day of the race?   They mentioned, Rhadi of Morocco, Basil Heatley of England, Everett and Tulloh of Scotland, Merriman of Wales, and van de Wattyne of Belgium.   The first ten were –


Three out of the first four wasn’t too bad – but Alastair Wood – from Aberdeen and a British track internationalist – was not one of their runners to watch!   The Scottish team was fifth of the eight and nearer to the fourth team than to the sixth.   Team results:

  1.   England  52;   2.  Belgium  61;  3.   France  125;   4.   Morocco  159   5.   Scotland  171;   6.   Spain  243  ;   8. Ireland  279;   9.  Wales  279.  

Aberdeen AAC’s Steve Taylor raced three times for Scotland in the ICCU International: 1960, 1961 and 1962. His best performance was 35th (third Scot) in the 1962 event at Sheffield. He finished behind Andy Brown (9th), Aberdeen clubmate Alastair Wood (25th) and just in front of Jim Alder (36th) – the Scottish team was fifth.

Here are two photos: Steve Taylor’s memento badges, with the 1960 Hamilton one on the left; and his Scottish vest badge.