SIXTY YEARS AGO
Athletics events stole the show at Pontypridd Council's Air Show on Whit Monday 1960. By their conduct and sportmanship the athletes were a credit to Welsh Athletics and the people of Pontypridd were quick to show their appreciation.
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FIFTY YEARS AGO
Troedyrhiw AC decided in 1970 to hold track events at the Afon Taf track instead of their annual road races.
They were run in complete darkness and the timekeepers had to use cigarette lighters to read
SEVENTY YEARS AGO
In 1950 the Welsh AAA instituted a Plaque of Honour for valued services rendered by members and the first award was made posthumously to the late
Mr E W O'Donnell.
Double click to insert body te ..FORTY YEARS AGO
The 76th Welsh Senior XC Champs held at a cold, wet and windy Swansea on
2 Feb 1980 were a bit
of an anti climax.
Steve Jones and Tony Simmons broke away from the field and decided to
run in together to create the first ever dead heat in the history of the race.
WALES V ARMY
The first ever match against the Army was held at Gilwern on 13 November 1965, though it was not a particularly auspicious affair as proceedings were marred by a late start and a great deal of uncertainty about the composition of the teams. Ken Flowers was made captain, an honour richly deserved as he was running his last cross country event. For some reason Dil Robbins missed the race and indeed ran in a South Wales League race in Bridgend on the same afternoon but his place was taken at short notice by Paul Darney. The course consisted of one small lap and five big laps. Gerry Williams led on the first lap and was joined on the second lap by John Godding and Chris Loosley. These two dropped Williams on the third lap and eventually crossed the line together. Wales won this first match, though the Army were unlucky in that five of their reserves finished in front of their last scoring runner. Gilwern Harriers made an excellent job of hosting the event and the tea afterwards was a wonderful meal !
The WCCA minutes note that the Army had written to express their thanks for the recent fixture at Gilwern and asked that this should become an annual event, suggesting a date on the last Saturday in January. This is indeed what happened and the fixture continued until 1993. Some interesting snippets from the early matches include the following: In 1969 the event was held in driving rain, hail, gale force winds and deep mud. The runners finished the race and ran straight to the changing rooms without stopping, leaving the poor recorders trying valiantly to record the times and numbers on wet soggy paper. In 1972 Wales beat the Army by just one point, thanks in part to Luther Williams who turned out at very short notice to help a depleted Welsh team. 1973 saw the first ever victory over cross country or track and field for the 21 year old Mike Lane.
An attempt has been made to list all the matches, using our collections and information in Athletics Weekly, but there are gaps. For each match the date, venue, score and competing Welsh athletes are listed. As results never gave first names efforts have been to include these along with their clubs. Theoretically athletes competed for the Welsh Cross Country Association then the Athletics Association of Wales but to make it easier they have been listed as running for Wales. There are gaps so please help us to make the results as complete as possible.
WALES V RAF
In the minutes of the Welsh Cross Country Association on 10 May 1968, the question of further representative matches like the successful events against the Army was raised. The Secretary was asked to investigate whether matches could be arranged against the RAF and perhaps the Welsh Universities at 'little or no cost to the association' !
Consequently the first match against the RAF was held in St Athan on 11 January 1969. It became an annual event, eventually including the UAU (Universities) and the Midlands and lasted until 1993 when full inter area matches became the norm. One rather amusing snippet from the very first match in 1969 involves Bill Stitfall. Apparently his waistband on his shorts snapped and he lost over 200 yards while officials searched desperately for a safety pin.
Picture of Jeff Kirby competing for Wales
against RAF at Barry on January 1971.
(AW Gordon Roberts)
An attempt has been made to compile a list of Wales' Inter Area matches. For each match details of the score and the name, club and time of each athlete is given. The list is by no means complete. However if you can
not find a match in the list, please look above in the Army or RAF matches plus in the International list.
For ease of reading the list has been divided in two - 1900s and from 2000 onwards.
PLEASE HELP COMPILERS TO COMPLETE THE LIST
OTHERWISE INFORMATION WILL BE LOST FOR EVER !
An attempt has been made to compile a list of Wales' Representative matches for Juniors - includes U20/U17 athletes. It is interesting to see how many went on to represent Wales at International level.
Many thanks to Jeff Kirby for helping us to fill in some of the gaps.
Matches in 2000s