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Athletics in Tameside 1837-1939

Published 2011 by lulu.com

Fully illustrated - 137 pages

Copy available at Tameside Local Studies and Archives Centre or from the author

Glenn Piper
199 Lumb Lane
Manchester M34 5RX
Price Ł5 plus postage

I have contacted the Tameside Advertiser today and made some nominations for Blue/Brown Plaques based upon my research. Also I am in touch with Alice at Tameside Archives. Precis

The untold story of the athletes who trained and lived in Tameside 1837-1939. Read about classic races and local venues. Find out about local clubs. Learn about the exploits of the famous and not so famous runners from those far off days before Nike and rehydration drinks. Some of the athletes were national and international stars. Fred Bacon, George Crossland, Arthur Wharton and many more names from the past.

Read the story and be inspired!

All these are athletes/sportsmen who were famous in their day and achieved great things on a national stage. They all have a significant connection with Tameside. I think it would be great to celebrate some of Tameside’s forgotten sporting heroes especially in the build up to the 2012 Olympics. This is a very brief précis of some of their achievements.

Fred Bacon-prominent member of Ashton Harriers c1891-1895. Joined Ashton Harriers whilst a soldier at Ashton Barracks. Run many races at the Snipe Inn as an amateur and professional. The Snipe Inn could be regarded as his home track. 1893-1895 Amateur Athletics Association AAA 1 mile champion 1895 AAA 10 mile champion 1895 World 1 mile record holder 1897 World 1 hour record holder 11 miles 1234 yards

Arthur Wharton-outstanding athlete and footballer. First black professional football association player in the world. 1886 World 100 yard record 1886-1887 AAA 100 yard champion Turned to football 1886/87. Joined Stalybridge Rovers and also had a spell at Ashton North End. According to the Ashton Herald he was “lionised by the football folk of Ashton and Stalybridge.” 1901-living at 138 Old Street, Ashton. A whole book has been written about the life and achievements of Wharton. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur_Wharton

George Crossland- born in Dukinfield 1872 1894 and 1896 National Cross Country Champion 1896 AAA 10 mile champion 1894 World Record holder for 20 miles. Married the landlady of the Victoria Hotel and this place became associated with George in late Victorian times. Buried St Pauls, Stalybridge.1914.

Jack Haggerty- Born 1862 in Stalybridge.(baptised John but known as Jack) He was a notable runner and took part in the great Sheffield Handicaps in the 1880’s. However, he is most famous for his swimming achievements. 1882 (1883?) 220 yard UK swimming champion 1887 100 yard UK swimming champion 1904 selected from 3,678 to attempt the cross channel swim and emulate the feat of the great Captain Webb in 1875. He did not succeed even though he was “one of the best known English swimmers.” 1891 and 1901 living in Stalybridge. Eventually moved to Blackpool and died there in 1939. There is a detailed obituary in the Ashton Reporter.

The Snipe Inn, Audenshaw. This was one of the first permanent athletics tracks in the Manchester area. It was finished by mid 1840 as there are reports of races there in July/Aug. According to noted athletics historian Bob Phillips states it was one of the first running tracks in the country to be laid as a separate entity rather than as part of a sports complex. The track was behind the Snipe Inn and can be seen on Victorian OS maps. It was a popular venue throughout Victorian times and was the scene of many great athletic races. It was not just an athletics venue as many other sports were held there. After the First World War it became a speedway track and the 2nd dirt track speedway meeting in the country was held there in 1928. The venue helped paved the way for the success of speedway in the inter war period with riders such as Riskit Riley and Slider Shuttleworth. Alan Morrey “Speedway in Manchester.”


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