Springburn Inter Club, 1966

When I came to live in Lenzie the club already had close links with Springburn Harriers and regular inter club fixtures were held on the country and occasionally we met up in an inter club on the track – my first ever inter club was at Springburn where I ran the Three Miles against Springburn and Garscube.   They were a considerably good club at the time and to give an indication of this, I’ll set out the athletes here who were in the Scottish rankings for ’66.

Event Name Performance Position
Senior 100 Yards D McKean 10.0 14th
220 D McKean 22.3 10th
440 D McKean 49.5 8th
880 D Middleton 1:51.3 5th
One Mile D Middleton 4:18.0 25
E Knox (J) 4:18.4 27th*
Two Miles E Knox (J) 9:08.0 13
Three Miles E Knox (J) 13:48 8th
High Jump R Souter 6’1″ 6th
Junior 880 E Knox 1:59.2 8th
One Mile E Knox 4:18.4 4th
Three Miles E Knox 13:48.4 1st
High Jump R Souter 6’1″ 1st
Long Jump R Souter 21’6″ 5th
Youths 880 Yards G Jarvie 2:02.3 5th
Mile G Jarvie 4:31.9 3rd
Ron Beaney 4:33.7 4th
1000m Steeplechase Nickie Souter 3:06.9 1st
(200m Steeplechase JUNIOR Nickie Souter 6:23.4 4th

* In the Senior Mile, as in all endurance events at the time, the athlete splitting Dunky Middleton and Eddie Knox was Ian Stewart who went on to win the European and Commnwealth 5000 metres titles as well as the International Cross Country Championships.

In the Junior Age Group, Eddie won the SAAA One Mile in the time noted above from Robert Linaker (4:22.9) while Robin Souter won the SAAA High Jump with 6’0″ from Alex Peggie of Montrose (5’9″)

George Jarvie won both the Schools and the SAAA Championships for the One Mile and Nickie Souter won the Schools Championships (the SAAA Championship was not held because of poor support).

A lot of the Springburn endurance success was down to Eddie Sinclair’s training – some said that he worked the boys too hard but there was undoubted success over a very long period.   His top men at this point were Eddie Knox who won the Junior International Cross Country Championship, Dunky Middleton who won the British Indoor half mile championship and Harry Gorman but the list was almost endless and included, as well as George Jarvie and Nickie Souter, such as the Beaney brothers, the Picken brothers and the  Lunn bothers, then there were other outstanding athletes such as Johnny Buntain, Davie Tees, Billy Minto, Stewart Gillespie, the great Adrian Callan  and of course Graham Williamson.   They were always a force to be reckoned with but for some reason they were not the ever presents that they should have been in the Edinburgh to Glasgow eight stage relay.   They used English based  – well not ‘real’ Scottish athletes  – at times such as John McGrow of Longwood Harriers, Peter Knott of Portsmouth (?) and Ian McIntosh of Ranelagh Harriers in some of the major events.   Longwood was Derek Ibbotson’s club and had lots of top distance runners such as Ibbotson, McGrow and Denid Quinlan but McGrow was the only one who seemed to have any Scottish connection.    The thing is that they did not need the Anglos because their own strength was such that they would have given any club in the land a run for their money.   I’d be interested to hear what the connection was between any of the Anglos and Springburn.   They always attracted a number of Scottish athletes from other clubs quite legitimately with Mike Bradley joining from Paisley Harriers (Mike was a GB 1500 champion) and Colin Falconer from Forth Valley being among joining in the late 1960’s and then of course Alistair and Doug came on board in the very late 60’s and early 70’s.

The rankings for 1981 when I left were vastly different with only four male athletes appearing.   Graeme Williamson was fourth ranked in the 1500 metres behind John Robson, Frank Clement and Gordon Rimmer with 3:46.4, Graham Crawford was twenty eight in the 5000 metres with 14.51.68 and in the marathon Alistair McFarlane was eighth with 2:21.01 (run in Glasgow in October) and Doug Gunstone was twenty second with 2:26.52 (fourth in the SAAA Championships in Edinburgh).    Alistair was one place ahead of Don McGregor in the rankings and also had two more times in the list for that year – 2:22.18 which he ran in London in March and 2:22.25 which he clocked when finishing third in the Scottish Championships in Edinburgh in June.