St Helens Sutton Athletic Club
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
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
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
Good day Sir,
My name is Lawrence Owens I live in North Bay Ontario
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
These are good memories I left UK in October 1947 and I am
81 years old.
Good to see Sutton surviving.
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
Contrary to popular opinion neither Stan Erlam nor Phil
Thomas are on these team photos