John Freebairn: Professional record

John sent me some details of his competitive career as a professional athlete.   It is just four sheets with lists of Games at which he has competed and events in which he took part.   Even without accompanying notes they are very interesting to look through and see how good he was.   The first sheet deals with meetings in 1961, ’62, ’63 and ’64.   Note that the first one – Blackford in 1962 should be further down among the other competitions for that year.   The list only deals with the ‘light athletics’. 

The sheet above indicates that he liked the high jump – remember he won the Scottish Schools High Jump as a pupil at Kilsyth Academy.   This next list covers 1965, ’66 and ’67, noting that he won the PGA Championship for his specialist group in 1966.   in ’65 he cmpeted in 13 meetings from Thornton in Fife to Braemar to Oban to Strathpeffer.   In ’66, his championship year, there were 11 Gatherings with Mallaig and Grasmere added to the list.   Note the name of Ian Ward who won at Aboyne – Ward was an English athlete who specialised in the Pole Vault and was one of those responsible for introducing the fibre glass pole to Britain.   He held workshops all over the country including Scotland before producing the BAAB Coaching booklet shown below.   John and the other Scottish vaulters at this time used the metal pole.

The third sheet had competitions for 1968 and ’69 plus one each from ’78 and ’79.   In ’68 he took part at eight venues in a total of 30 events.   These are only the light athletics events, he also did heavy events in some events – notably the caber (was it not included in his email address as jf_caber@) and even running on the track.   W McLellan, pictured below, was another superb athlete and very hard to beat although John did on occasion get the better of him, but he was an athlete who would have shone in any company.

The years are down the right and go from 1971 to a single meeting in 1980.   The last two meetings from above are for running events, but here he is competing only in heavy events – with a good record too.   There are six columns but in some cases he competed in seven throws – the caber has had to be added in the end column.