About us

St Helens Sutton have a proud tradition of providing athletic opportunity to people of the St Helens and surrounding areas for a long time. We field teams in track & field, road running and cross country.

We believe that athletics is an enjoyable sport which can be fun for athlete, official and spectator.

We promote and encourage the local community to join with us in providing these opportunities. We pride ourselves on being a friendly club and are always on the look out for new members, be they top athletes, fun runners or potential officials.

We provide regular training with qualified coaches to help you progress. We field team for both men and women and young athletes as well as having a very healthy veteran section.

Information regarding our athletic activities may be found by following the navigation links on the left. Or why not come along to our training venue

Sutton Sports Centre         Telephone:    01744 677375
Elton Head Road                   Fax:               01744 677 376
St Helens
Location Map Track Details

Club History

St Helens-Sutton Athletic Club was created in 1990 by a merger between Sutton Harriers and St Helens A.C. Sutton Harriers was formed in 1899 and within seven years had won the National Cross Country Championship. Immediately after the second world war they won the title four years out of five between 1947 and 1951. The club’s President, Billy McMinnis, is the last surviving member of that legendary team.

In 1979 Sutton won its sixth National cross-country title when the Under 13 girls’ team took the crown at Runcorn. Sue Clague, a member of that team, is now one of the coaches at the club. During the 1970’s and early 1980’s Sutton had developed a strong track presence with the ladies team winning the Northern Track and Field League title and reaching the UK Qualifying match on four occasions. The men’s team also reached the first division of the Northern League.

By the early 1990’s the architects of those successes had left and, along with many other clubs, Sutton suffered a decline in membership. St Helens A C, which has been formed in the late 1970’s, had performed well in men’s road running but had failed to develop in other areas. Therefore, the two clubs decided to pool their resources in the interests of athletics in St Helens as a whole and form a single unit for all the town’s athletes.

In 1996 the club moved its base to Sutton Sports Centre, Eltonhead Road, where an all-weather track had been laid. It continues to operate from the track where it meets for club training nights on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6.30 p.m – 8.30p.m.

The club has a number of Life Members, awarded for services to the club and, when appropriate, on achieving international standard in club (not schools’) competition.

The current Life Members are Billy McMinnis; Stan Erlam; David Forrester; Tony Raffle; John Irwin; Trevor Prescott;  Dr Phil Thomas; Ray Vose; Ken Wilcock; Julia Hayes; Tony Walsh; George Mullineux; Michael Causer.

From Acorn to Oak: A History of Sutton Harriers and Athletic Club (St Helens)


If you are interested in learning more about the club and it’s former members we have secured a number of copies of the excellent book

The book is currently out of print so the number of copies we have are limited so please send an email if you are interested in purchasing a copy.



Contact Us

We are always interested in hearing from current members, ex-members,  their families or descendants.
Please send any photos / stories / comments to us.



Peter McGovern after winning an 880 yards race c.1930’s

Good day Sir,


My name is Lawrence Owens I live in North Bay Ontario Canada.

I was checking your web site and it tweaked my Interest.

Back in 1947 I was included in a Reporter paper photo titled Trophies of the Chase.

My connection was with the fellow at the top right hand of the photo, I can’t remember his name, Jim I think anyway we both worked at the Vulcan Foundry also Alf Tyrer.

I am standing beside Jim, I also ran with the Viaduct Club of Earlstown. My last run was in the Manchester marathon I lasted for eighteen miles but couldn’t finish didn’t train the distance, Alf Tyrer was in that race.

These are good memories I left UK in October 1947 and I am 81 years old.

Good to see Sutton surviving.



Lawrence Owens


I have been doing some research into my family history and have located some photos of my great grandfather. He ran for the original Sutton Harriers in around 1907. I thought they may be of interest to your club so have I have attached a few scans. We still have some of his original medals and a sideboard that he won in competition. The family legend has it that the sideboard was commissioned and put up as a prize by a rich competitor who was certain he would win, on the day my grandfather beat him and stole his sideboard!

Anyway, I hope they are of some interest.

Stephen Ellis

Contrary to popular opinion neither Stan Erlam nor Phil Thomas are on these team photos