Alastair Aitken reports on .......
|JIM McNAMARA an IRISH LEGEND (May 2013)|
|Mike Gratton Looks Back (April 2013)|
|Aldershot Champions Again (April 2013)|
|NATIONAL 12 STAGE ROAD RELAY (April 2013)|
|VICTORIA PARK WOMEN'S RACE (April 2013)|
|VICTORIA PARK 5 WITH MARTIN & HICKEY (April 2013)|
|World Trial and Inter-Counties Part Three (March 2013)|
|World Trial and Inter-Counties Part Two (March 2013)|
|World Trial and Inter-Counties Part One (March 2013)|
|Southern Cross Country Champs - Part Three (February 2013)|
|Southern Cross Country Champs - Part Two (February 2013)|
|Southern Cross Country Champs - Part One (February 2013)|
|MIDDLESEX CROSS COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIPS (January 2013)|
|HARRY TEMPAN RETIRES AT 87 (December 2012)|
|Running Still - 133 years of Highgate Harriers (August 2012)|
|FRANK SANDO (14/3/31 - 13/10/12)|
|GREG RICHARDS (October 2012)|
|THE MIDDLESEX & OPEN 10K (September 2012)|
|NINA ANDERSON (September 2012)|
|MO FARAH - HIS BREAKTHROUGH YEARS (August 2012)|
|WILLIAM SHARMAN (August 2012)|
|DWAIN CHAMBERS (August 2012)|
|JOB KINYOR from Kenya (JULY 2012)|
|CHRIS TOMLINSON (July 2012)|
|ARIES MERRITT (July 2012)|
|TYSON GAY in London (July 2012)|
|CHRISTIAN TAYLOR TRIPLE JUMP WORLD CHAMPION 2011 (JULY 2012)|
|DON TAYLOR (1936 TO 2012)|
|THE MAN WHO CHANGED 10,000m RUNNING HISTORY (JULY 2012)|
|THE LAST TWO BRITISH OLYMPIC WALK MEDALLISTS (July 2012)|
|JIM RYUN with MARTY LIQUORI and JOHN WHETTON (JUNE 2012)|
|TWO OF THE GREATEST OLYMPIC THROWERS - JANIS LUSIS and AL OERTER (JUNE 2012)|
|BASIL HEATLEY THE GREAT ROAD/CC/TRACK RUNNER (MAY 2012)|
|RON RODDAN COACH TO A 1992 OLYMPIC CHAMPION (MAY 2012)|
|BRONISLAW MALINOWSKI STEEPLECHASER '1960's to 81' (MAY 2012)|
|GASTON ROELANTS 'THE STEEPLECHASER OF THE 1960'S' (APRIL 2012)|
|JOHN DISLEY THE UK'S OUSTANDING STEEPLECHASER OF THE 1950'S|
JOHN DISLEY CBE (Born 20th of November 1928 at Corris, Gwynedd, Wales. Went to Oswestry High School)
His first sporting love was mountaineering, more than athletics and he broke the record for the traverse of the Welsh 3000 foot peaks. He introduced the Sport of orienteering to the UK and he enjoyed cross-country skiing and even at 50 returned to atheltics with good runs in the Southern and National veterans cross-countries in the 'Over 50's'
" My life is puncturated with Challenges" he told me in 1979, when I talked to him in London and how right he was.
At that time he was Vice President of the Sports Council and helped Chris Brasher organise the First London Marathon that finished in the center of London. That followed the ' London Marathons' organised by Highgate Harriers which started and ended on the track at Copthall Hendon. Of course they were run some years earlier in the late 1960's and early '70s. .
He married 'Charming' Sylvia Cheesman, who obtained a bronze medal in the 1952 Olympics and was a former UK record holder for the 200m.
John Disely was a well proportioned and impressive looking athlete.He always seemed to relish competition with a smile on his face, when he won so many races at the White City Stadium, as well as on the continent. Someone I will never forget seeing in action.
1952 Olympic 3000m Steeplechase Final at Helsinki
First Six:- 1 Horace Ashenfelter (USA) 8:45.4 (Olympic Record) 2 Vlaldimir Kazantsev (Russia) 8:51.6; 3 John Disley (GBR) 8:51.8; 4 Olavi Rinteenpaa (Finland) 8:55.2; 5 kurt Soderberg (Sweden) 8:55.6; 6 Gunther Hesselmann (Germany) 8:55.8.
John comes in " The name you missed ut was Helmut Gude (Germany 8th in 9:01.4)-I don't think anybody had recognised Vladimir Kazantsev's World record because there was a suspect water jump. I am not sure! I thought Gude had the best chance of winning and I thought well I'll hang on to this man, watch what he does because he has got far more experience than I have and we will fight it out together over the last couple of laps. But I did not know that Gude had just had flu, was nowheare right from the start, so I was nowhere with him. It was only really when Geoff Dyson came down out of the stand with John Savidge to help him shout out with two laps to go. They sort of jogged me into consciousness then I ran hard as I could for the rest of the race. I think had the race been another 10 yards further I would have finished second, and if I had woken up earlier I might have challenged Ashenfelter, doing 8:45.4. which I think was the best of all time at that stage. I had not even broken 9 minutes"
In my sports scrapbook I filled up with newspaper cuttings in the 50's I wrote 'John Disley 8 times Inter-Counties steeplechase Champion.' An event as tough to win as the AAA's in those days,.which he incidedntaly won won in 1955 & '57.
In 1955 he was 'BBC Wales Sports Personality' for the year.
As, so many athletes know the public judge you on you achieving Olympic medals rather than anything else BUT often people run at their peak bertween the Olympics.That could easily apply to John Disley I would think. John Disley was credited with 8:44.2 as UK record holder in 1955.
He explains " I think the strange thing is that if you are running well no one is a very good competitor to you because you are going to beat them. It is very difficult to describe unless you have ever experienced it in your life.
In 1955 I was tottaly unbeatable and knew it, and it did not matter who they wheeled in. It was not a question of good or bad races. I just ran and at the bell I turned it on. I had the satisfaction of seeing people just fall behind .When you are not running well everybody is a good opponent because they all tend to beat you. It is either being switched on or off. You have seasons when you are switched on and nothing can go wrong. I think distance running is a bit like that actually; if you are going to win you are going to win."
1956 Olympic Final Melbourne A unique situation as Great Britain had all their three man team in the actual Final. The outsider of the three, who had only been running well for a month or six weeks before the 'Games', after being a runner up to John Disley so many times was Chris Brasher, who won the Gold medal but only after a disqualification was fairly quickly overturned. It was alleged that he had impeded Larsen of Sweden but because nobody had lost ground over it, he was reinstated and Victory was his!
1 Chris Brasher (GBR) 8:41.2 (UK Record); 2 Sandor Roznyoi (Hungary) 8:43.6; 3 Ernst Larsen (Norway) 8:44.0; 4 Heinz Laufer (Germany) 8:44.4; 5 Semyon Rzhischin (Russia) 8:44.6; 6 John Disley (GBR) 8:44.6; 7th was Neil Robbins of Australia and 8th Eric Shirley (GBR).10 entered.
"I had virus pneumonia six weeks before and Chris Brasher only beat me twice in something like 50 races we had together. I just was not fit actually. I was quite lucky to get to the final. Even if I had won in Melbourne, which would have been nice to do, at the back of my mind--and it could be at he back of Chris Brashers' mind too-is that the best a steeplechaser in the World was the Hungarian Rozsnyoi "
In the next text you will see how amazingly difficult the steeplchase was years ago!.
" You used to do an interesting event that is not run now, the 2 miles steeplchease, Was that a lot harder than the 3000 steeple?"
In the March 1979 'Athetivs Weekly' article I did his answer was " It was a bit more than the odd couple of hundred yards. There was one more water jump for a start. It would not matter much nowadays quite honestly because of Tartan tracks. A tartan bottom to the water jump gives you a bit of cushioning, but you may remember that at the old White City when I was running there was a hedge and in the middle was a rail which your foot felt for, and if you were lucky and hit the rail, then you landed in a water jump which had a concrete base, which was about a foot underneath the regulation slope height and on top of that concrete slope there were lumps of sod put there for the race which looked great when you examined it, but the first time the field ran through that they smashed through the sods, as everybody lands more or less on the same place.
You were falling a foot further down when jumping, and you had a grass run up at the White City for many years, even to the water jump. It was a different race; possibly it was a second and a half to two seconds a lap more to run the steeplechase in those days than it is now."
Eric Shirley who was considered No. 2 British Steeplechaser behind Disley then but in front of Brasher, except for the Olympic Final, won his Sem-final in Melbourne in 8:52.6 but felt, because he had eaten all the lovely salads and fish in Australia before the event; food he had not been accustomed to before as he had been used to more or less poverty conditions in Kilburn. Therefore he found that because he had not packed in any carbohydrates he was drained in the final.
Remarkable, Hillingdon AC runner, Eric Shirley at the age of 82 in 2011 was winning major veteran domestic Championships for his 'Over 80 age group category' That was over 800m!
Looking back John Disley had this to say
" Eric Shirley I think, probably had more physical potential than the rest of us put together but he never slept properly three or four days before an event. He worried himself out of his performances. Eric was a great runner."
|MEN'S NATIONAL 12 STAGE ROAD RELAY (April 2012)|
|Women's National 6 Stage Road Relay (April 2012)|
|THE 46th VICTORIA PARK '5' (April 2012)|
|SIX OUTSTANDING OLYMPIC MEDALLISTS- 800m to 10000m (APRIL 2012)|
|EIGHT AFRICAN OLYMPIC CHAMPIONS (March 2012)|
|McCain UK Inter Counties & UK Challenge 2012 - part 3|
|McCain UK Inter Counties & UK Challenge 2012 - part 2|
|McCain UK Inter Counties & UK Challenge 2012 - part 1|
|THE ENGLISH NATIONAL 2012 - part 2|
|THE ENGLISH NATIONAL 2012 - part 1|
|THE LATE BMC COACH FRANK HORWILL (FEBRUARY 2012)|
|SEAA Cross Country Championships - Juniors (January 2012)|
|SEAA Women's Cross Country Championships (January 2012)|
|SEAA Senior Men's Cross Country Championships (January 2012)|
|Six Olympic 110 Hurdles Champions Talking (January 2012)|
|CHRIS FINILL'S RUN ACROSS AMERICA IN 2011 (January 2012)|
|'HUSTLING HERB' ONE OF THE FIRST JAMAICAN OLYMPIANS (January 2012)|
|SEAA Inter-Counties Cross Country Championships 10/12/11|
|Dick Taylor and Allan Rushmer (60's,70's & 80's)|
|Lynn Davies (Looking back in November 2011)|
|Scott Overall (October 2011)|
|Keith Gerrard (October 2011)|
|National Six Stage Relays (October 2011)|
|National Four Stage Women's Road Relay (October 2011)|
|David Hemery (1968 & 75, Updated October 2011)|
|Tony Simmons an Underrated 'Star' Performer (September 2011)|
|Kenya's First 'Great' Sprinter - Serapheno Antao|
|The Vets Athletic Club's Championship (August 2011)|
|Mel Batty (August 2011)|
|Tiffany Townsend (August 2011)|
|Coach John Smith (August 2011)|
|Jason Richardson (August 2011)|
|Lisa Dobriskey (August 2011)|
|Mark Lewis-Francis (August 2011)|
|David Rudisha - IAAF World Athlete of the Year 2010|
|David Morwood (June 2011)|
|Rosemary Chrimes - A Star for 40 Years (June 2011)|
|Paul Dickenson Commentator and Athlete (June 2011)|
|Larry Achike (May 2011)|
|Three of Histories Greatest milers - Part 3 - SEB COE|
|Three of Histories Greatest milers - Part 2 - JOHN WALKER|
|Three of Histories Greatest milers - Part 1 - SYDNEY WOODERSON|
|Three very great curve runners of the past and their views|
|Derek Ibbotson (Interviewed Oct 1962 - updated 2011)|
|Walter Wilkinson (Interviewed Summer 2000)|
|Dave Chapman (Interview Autumn 1998)|
|'Never Say Die' Les Roberts (April 2011)|
|David Cannon (Interview April 2011)|
|Bruce Tulloh (Interviewed April 2011 and September 1962)|
|Geoff Harrold remembered (Born 25/5/39 died 1/4/11)|
|Nick McCormick at the Victoria Park '5' (March 2011)|
|The Victoria Park '5' A World Renown Road Race (March 2011)|
|Bernard Plain MBE (March 2011)|
|South London's Historic Mob Match (March 2011)|
|World Trials and Inter-Counties - report 3 (2011)|
|World Trials and Inter-Counties - report 2 (2011)|
|World Trials, Inter-Counties and Mike McLeod (2011)|
|North of the Thames Championships - Kingsbury (Feb 2011)|
|Memories of Peter Hildreth (1928 - February 26th 2011)|
|Jonny Hay and Richard Goodman at the English National Junior 2011|
|Louise Deman and Hatti Dean at the English National 2011|
|Steve Vernon - English National Champion 2011|
|Chris Smith and Serpentine - Outstanding in the Met League Final (2011)|
|Nielson Hall and others at the the SEAA Championships 2011)|
|Dave Clarke (The Great Runner from Hercules Wimbledon)|
|Chris Finill the Outstanding Ultra Distance Runner|
|Three New Stars at the 'PREMIER LEAGUE' Jo Smith Cup (Sept 2010)|
|Gladys Bird - Woodford Green & Essex Ladies|
|Bob Smith - Newham and Essex Beagles|
|Richard Thompson - August 2010|
|Danielle Carruthers - August 2010|
|Angelo Taylor - August 2010|
|Michael Rimmer - August 2010|
|British M45 javelin record holder Roald Bradstock|
|James Shane with his Coach Martin Brown JUNE 2010|
|Tony Jarrett JUNE 2010|
|Andy Turner Interview JUNE 2010|
|Southern Counties Track & Field Championships at Crystal Palace JUNE 2010|
|The Aldershot National Womens 4 Stage Champions 2010|
|Grenville Tuck Interview (May 2010 and in 1975)|
|The stage winners at the National 12 Stage Relay - Sutton Park - April 2010|
|Anthony Whiteman Interview - April 2010|
|Bill Adcocks Interview - 13th March 2010|
|Wendy Sly Interview - 13th March 2010|
|Peter Clark A Forgotten Hero|
|Dic Evans A Runner for Wales for 45 years interviewed in 2009|
|Douglas Alistair Gorden Pirie (Born Leeds 10th February 1931 Died 7th December 1991)|
|Peter Browne: British Milers Club and Racing Against Ovett and Coe|
|Peter Browne: Born 3rd of February 1949|
|Six of Belgrave's Winning 12 Stage Team|
|Newham & Essex Beagles 6 Stage Winners and Course Record Breakers 2009|
|Dave Moorcroft Through the Years|
|Bob Smith the Successful Newham & Essex Beagles Manager August 2009|
|Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie Interviewed in London Summer 2009|
|Martyn Rooney at Croydon July 2009|
|Felix Sanchez in London 2009|
|Kerron Clement interviwed on 24th of July 2009|
|Simeon Williamson in London (July 25th, 2009)|
|Dayron Robles interviewed in London 2009|
|Irie Hill at the British Master Championships 2009|
|Roy Fowler - The Red Fox|
|John Hall - Race Walker|
|Mara Yamauchi - Outstanding British Performer in the London Marathon 2009|
|Nick Goolab - The Revelation of the UK Cross Country Season 2008/2009|
|Joyce Smith M.B.E|
|Mike Barratt The 'Evergreen' Running Legend|
|Clare Elms A Revelation of Age Athletics|
|Harry Tempan The Rennaisance Runner|
|Kermit Bentham - A man who has run over 500 one lap races in his life!|
|Andretti Bain 2008 Olympic 4x400 relay silver|
|Bernard Lagat in London July 2008|
|Usain Bolt in London|
|Charlie Williams - Outstanding Master Sprinter|
|Where Are They Now - John Greatrex|
|The Truly Remarkable Tony Bowman|
|Gerry North - The Most Consistent cross-country runner of the 60's|
|Robert Slowe - Outstanding Clubman|
|Anthony Noel - World Masters Champion|
|Andre Bucher - 2001 World 800m Champion|
|Wallace Spearmon (2006)|
|Derek Johnson (1985)|
|James Carter - USA 400m hurdles Champion 2002 and 2004|
|Dorothy Manley - Silver medalist London Olympics 1948|