Recommended Publications

Recent publications of the NUTS, and by NUTS members


 

Robert Sadler and the lost Copenhagen Running Grounds

by Kevin Kelly

Many years of research by Kevin Kelly has resulted in a book on the history of the prominent athletics track in Garratt Lane Wandsworth between 1853 and 1864 and the story of Robert Sadler, the man who started it all.

The exact location of the track had been lost in time as it had never appeared on a map but this is now revealed together with a previously unpublished image of the founder.

During its life the track hosted over 500 events and virtually all the top pedestrians of the era competed there including the legendary Deerfoot.

It is a soft backed book of 80 pages with a similar number of illustrations.

Available now from Kevin Kelly, 71 Penwortham Road, Streatham, London, SW16 6RH

E-mail:

Price £9.99; Post & packing: UK £1.50, Europe £5.00, Rest of the World £7.50


 

Sydney Thomas 1868-1942 World Champion Harrier

by Warren Roe

Following Warren's biographies of Jack White and Teddy Mills, he has now published in the same format that of Sydney Thomas 1868-1942.

The flavour of the book is born out at the start "In 1908, as London hosted the Olympic Games, a 'down and out' man destined for the workhouse was to be seen in Lurline Gardens, Battersea making attempts at singing and inviting passers-by to give help. This man was Sydney Thomas who not many years before had been a brilliant athlete, breaking records in front of vast adoring crowds and winner of numerous championships both in Britain and America. This is his story."

If you are interested in purchasing a copy a cheque for £4 (Euro 5 banknote from Europe) to Warren at 36 Ravenscourt Grove, Hornchurch, RM12 6HS will cover the cost of the book including postage.


 

 

British Athletics 1951 and British Athletics 1952

by Michael Sheridan

These 128-page A4 books each contain:

  • deep year-lists for the United Kingdom for all events, including irregular events, relays and walks
  • performer lists usually 50 deep for men and 30-40 deep for the main women's events
  • lists of performances down to the level of the performer lists, so for example there are over 230 performances to 10.2 for 100 yards in 1951
  • index of all athletes, with full names, club and date of birth, where known

Each book can be obtained for £20 or both for £38 (including UK postage)
For overseas orders, prices on request.

Payment by:
1. cheque drawn on a British bank payable to Michael Sheridan
2. cash
3. PayPal - email for payment details

Michael Sheridan, 27 Yew Tree Park, Congresbury, Somerset, BS49 5ER


 

Athletics National Records Evolution 1912-2012

by Janusz Wasko, John Brant, Gjörgy Csiki and Andrej Socha

A new edition of the pioneering 2007 work expands the book to 458 pages, increases the number of countries covered to 36, adds 5 more years worth of records, and adds extensive additional information form national records expert Gjörgy Csiki and female athletics expert John Brant. The book lists all known progressive records in Olympic events for the countries featured, including for example, more than one jump or throw in a competition, where they were both or all national records. In addition to the main 36 countries, there are the top 30 records for each event as at 1940, 1960, 1980, 1990, 2000 and 2012.

For details of ordering, contact Janusz at rwasko@onet.eu


 

Heptathlon and Pentathlon

by Stuart Mazdon with assistance from Alan Lindop
The latest NUTS statistical survey has a separate page here

The Olympics 100 Years Ago – How Great Britain's Athletes Performed in Stockholm in 1912

by Bob Phillips and David Thurlow, a “Track Stats” Special, published by the NUTS, available from , 40 Rosedale Road, Stoneleigh, Epsom, Surrey KT17 2JH, cost £8 UK, £10 overseas.

Book review by Ian Tempest:

This 86-page A4 book, which is a very detailed exposition of the 1912 domestic season and the British experience at the 1912 Olympics, elaborates on some of the themes in “Britain and the Olympics 1896-2010”; namely the distaste of many in Britain for the Olympic movement, the feeling that the Games were being taken too seriously by other countries, and a belief that the professional approaches being adopted elsewhere were inimical to the Victorian public-school idealism of amateurism still prevalent at the top of UK sport.

So, while the USA and Sweden were among the countries who organised themselves in a very systematic manner, the British approach was “haphazard”, with the official trials on 18 May being arguably less important than the Oxford v Cambridge match on 23 March. The authors, however, concede that one of the winners of the Varsity Match, miler Arnold Jackson (4:21 2/5) – who then did not compete again before the Games – won the Olympic 1500 metres title at 3:56.8! Maybe the maligned selectors knew something after all – or maybe excellence shines through whatever the circumstances?

The authors list the team chosen for the Games – including a number who did not compete for various reasons – and the officials and journalists that accompanied the party. Like the BBC today the press-box was full of talent, including Walter George, Joe Binks, Guy Nickalls (a 1908 rowing champion in the eights) and Sam Mussabini.

The daily reports of the meeting are very interesting. Fashion at the time was for numerous heats with small fields – in the 100 metres there were 17 heats for 69 athletes – and there were no false- start rules so one race got under way after nine false starts. As inexplicable was the decision to run heats of the 10,000 metres on 7 July (30 athletes) with the final the next day! Generally, though, the Games are considered to have been very well organised by Stockholm and Sweden.

Aside from Arnold Jackson, Britain’s other gold medal came in the 4 x 100 metres relay. The circumstances were bizarre. There were only eight teams, but the organisers had six heats (so four walkovers) and three semi-finals. The first semi-final (only winners to make the final) was won by USA with a world record, but they transgressed with the baton-changing so Britain, who passed the line 2nd, made the final. The other semi-final winners, Sweden and Germany, both set (legitimate) world records. In that final, on 9 July, the British team of Willie Applegarth, David Jacobs, Henry Macintosh and Victor D’Arcy upset the odds by winning in 42.4, just a tenth outside Germany’s world record set in the semis.

The book concludes with a review of the athletics proceedings by “The Times” correspondent (who ignores field events altogether) and a feature on the history of the 4 x 100 metres relay at the Olympics by Dave Thurlow, before concluding with ex-MP Robert Lehmann’s hostile views on Olympism, as expressed in 1912 in a speech reported in the Manchester Guardian.

This book is truly a fascinating insight into a very different era to today. And has a number of useful illustrations. 1912 is also the centenary of the IAAF so a celebration of the Stockholm Olympics is extremely appropriate.

Britain & the Olympics 1896-2010: A Celebration of British Gold

by Bob Phillips, published by Carnegie Publishing, Chatsworth Road, Lancaster LA1 4SL, telephone 01524-840111, www.carnegiepublishing.com, cost £12.99.

Book review by Ian Tempest:

Unlike books that described the Olympic champions in alphabetical order, Bob Phillips covers achievements in chronological order. There are advantages to this approach, showing sequentially some of the changes in how the Olympics were run and how the gold medallists trained over the years since 1896. The book encompasses Olympic champions across all sports – and even people who may not have been 'Olympic champions' at all!

At first glance “2010” in the title sounds like a misprint – but Bob is covering the Winter Olympics as well as the Summer Games, thereby bringing many different champions to the fore, from the 1924 curling team gold medallists (only formally acknowledged as Olympic champions in 2006!) through to Amy Williams, who won the skeleton bobsleigh in 2010.

I doubt I’m alone in being most fascinated by the early Olympics (up to World War One) – Games of “idiosyncrasies, eccentricities and anomalies”. In 1896, for instance, there wasn’t an official British team, but individuals entered in their own right (and many top athletes at home would not have known the Games had taken place). In 1900 Britain won the “Over 20 Tons Class” yacht race – but many of the individuals in the crew are still not identified. In 1904 Tom Kiely won the all-rounders' event in St Louis but entered privately and as an Irish Nationalist would not have welcomed being called a Brit. In fact, it took many years for this event to be declared an 'Olympic event', such was the confusion surrounding many events in these early Games, which took place over many months and by no means followed a rigorous timetable of competition.

Great Britain gave so much to the development of Victorian sport, especially in establishing and organising great sporting events, codifying rules and promoting sport in ways that encouraged people to flock to these events and see the star performers. Yet it is evident with the early Olympic Games that Britain was struggling to reconcile its position in the modern sporting world, and had conflicting attitudes towards the Olympics. Many in officialdom did not take the Games seriously and were suspicious of any hints of professionalism, but the world was changing. Bob Phillips records that even before the 1912 Stockholm Olympics had started the correspondent for “The Times” was comparing unfavourably the “extraordinary thorough work” preparing the Swedish athletes with the “gay, happy-go-lucky ways” of Britain.

Bob neatly contrasts all this with the 21st century Games, with big money and a highly professional approach driving the success of Britain’s cycling team in 2008 (eight gold medals out of a total of 19 golds – itself a record since 1908’s exceptional total of 56 golds).

I liked in Bob’s review of the 1930s the coincidence of the walking successes of Tommy Green (1932) and Harold Whitlock (1936) with the mass trespass of Kinder Scout in 1932 and the establishment of the Ramblers Association (1935) – truly walking “was a national pastime that could even make headline news”. All sorts of athletes had a Sunday morning constitutional, including Bill Roberts, the 400 metres runner.

This book is heartily recommended for its great stories of wonderful legends of the past, its many excellent black and while and colour photographs, and a most valuable Appendix of miscellaneous achievements. This reveals, for instance, that of the 482 gold medallists (NB not a complete total as those sailing champions in 1900 are not known) at least 40 were born outside Britain, while at least 56 champions of other nations were born in Britain, including many Irish-Americans pre-Partition. Nationality has always been a highly fluid concept. Finally, the Olympic champions who might not be. They were professionals who competed in their own class of events in 1900 in Paris. They included Edgar Bredin, winner of three “titles” as a professional. Ironically nowadays it’s the professionals who dominate the five ring circus.

The Official History of the AAA

AUTHOR: Mel Watman
FORMAT: hardback
PUBLISHED: 2011
ISBN: 9781907524011
PRICE: £19.99

Description:

The Amateur Athletic Association, founded in 1880 during a meeting at the Randolph Hotel in Oxford, was for many years the world’s most influential governing body for track and field competition. It was the AAA which established the rules and ethos of the sport.
In this official history of the AAA, Mel Watman – who attended his first AAA Championships 60 years ago – brings to life the personalities and events which shaped athletics from its Victorian origins to the present day. Highlights of each of the prestigious AAA Championships from 1880 onwards are included in this sumptuously illustrated book. All the great names of British athletics are featured, from the 19th century’s most phenomenal runner Walter George through to more modern legends such as Dave Bedford, Seb Coe, Steve Ovett, Linford Christie and Jonathan Edwards. There is also a wealth of fascinating trivia. One of the AAA’s Presidents was the judge at Dr Crippen’s trial; another climbed the Matterhorn and swam across Niagara. Competitors at the AAA Championships have included a Nobel Peace Prize winner, a best-selling novelist, a man who took part in The Great Escape of movie fame, and a leader of the Liberal Democrat party. Exhaustive lists of champions in all age groups and other compilations round off a volume which is effectively a history of British men’s athletics and represents the AAA’s legacy for future generations of athletes.
The first official history of the AAA was written by Peter Lovesey and published in 1980.

Order this book from www.sportsbooks.ltd.uk.

Hammer Throw

by IAN TEMPEST. A statistical survey of British throwing.
NUTS Historical Series Booklet No.13 (2011)
with extra statistics by Peter Matthews

An update to this booklet covering the 2011 and 2012 seasons can be found here.

A5 book, 88 pages, full of information on the history of UK hammer throwing and hammer throwers, including progressive UK senior and U20 records, deep lists (all UK men over 50m, women over 44m) plus complete lists of UK/AAA/age group/regional championships winners, English Schools champions and all UK international performances in the major championships and dual internationals. There are also features on the historical development of hammer throwing in the UK from early history onwards, Highland Games, rules and regulations and a brief history of the Hammer Circle.

Also over a hundred biographies of the leading lights of the event going back to the 19th century, (to pick up the leading throwers at the dawn of hammer throwing as a competitive event) brought right up to date with the 2010 Commonwealth and World Junior medallists.

Featured are:

  • The leading Irish athletes to 1921 (as they were British qualified, and had a huge influence on the historical development of the event)
  • The leading 19th century throwers – both amateurs and professionals (Highland Games etc)
  • Twentieth and 21st century throwers
  • The leading women athletes
  • A specific feature on the recent crop of younger UK throwers.

Most athletes featured are:

  • UK record holders
  • UK internationals in major international championships (Olympic, World, European, Commonwealth, the main junior championships, European Cup etc)
  • AAA and UK champions

Price is £8 (including postage) in cash or by cheque (payable to NUTS)
or Euro or Dollar equivalent.

From Don Turner ()
40 Rosedale Road, Stoneleigh, Epsom, Surrey, KT17 2JH

For information on other booklets in this series, see NUTS Historical Group

 

Decathlon

Compiled by ALAN LINDOP on behalf of the National Union of Track Statisticians
NUTS Historical Series Booklet No.14 (2011)

The 120 page A5 booklet contains: (all information as at 1 January 2011)

  • Senior Mens Decathlon all–time lists (1489 performances over 6500 pts and 333 performers over 6000 pts.)
  • All time rankings lists for Under 23 Mens Decathlon, Under 20 Mens Decathlon with both Junior and Senior implements), Under 18 Men, Under 17 Men (with both senior and youth implements), Under 15 Boys Pentathlon.
  • Results of first 3 finishers in both AAA/England Outdoor and Indoor championships for all age groups, and winners of Area Senior championships.
  • Top 10 performances in individual Decathlon events, and also top 5 performances at AAA/England championships.
  • A full list of all Great Britain Decathlon International results, including the European Cup of Combined Events and major championships.
  • Index of all Great Britain International Decathletes showing date and place of birth and number of Internationals competed in, including Indoor Internationals.
  • Annual performances lists and Merit ranking lists.
  • Deep Senior Mens Indoor Heptathlon rankings.
  • Short biographies of leading Decathletes (past and present) and miscellaneous family facts.

Price is £9 (including postage) in cash or by cheque (payable to NUTS)
or Euro or Dollar equivalent.

From Don Turner ()
40 Rosedale Road, Stoneleigh, Epsom, Surrey, KT17 2JH

This is the 14th in the event Statistical series, others also being available from Don Turner, with Women's Combined Events (Heptathlon and Pentathlons) due next.

 

Women's World Lists 1921-1962

by John Brant and Janusz Wasko, published February 2011.

255x175mm, 408 pages

100-deep women's world lists for each year in all standard events including 60 metres.

Major changes from last edition (1926-1962) are:

  • Deep lists each event 1921 to 1925 now added.
  • Major changes to quality of lists, 1926 to 1962 with much new material now added from the USSR/Sweden/Denmark/Australia/Canada and New Zealand/Austria/Netherlands/Czechoslovakia and revised deep,Germany 1939-1945 lists.
  • Many results discovered from the African-Carribean historical newspapers of the USA, with results only published in these newspapers.

If you thought the last book was good, then this is even better!

For the first 30 copies ordered there will also be the bonus of a little booklet additionally sent, with to date, the most full detailed Women’s World Games results ever published and all international meeting/matches from 1921 to 1925 with full names/full birth dates (including Monte Carlo Games 1921 to 1923).

£25.00/€30.00 including postage

Order from:
 

All-Time Greats of British Athletics

AUTHOR: Mel Watman
FORMAT: paperback
PUBLISHED: 2008
ISBN: 9781899807444
PRICE: £10.00

Description:

Former Athletics Weekly editor Mel Watman, who has been writing on the sport for half a century, pays tribute to Britain's most successful athletes... from
Walter George, who revolutionised miling in the 1880s
to Harold Abrahams and Eric Liddell of Chariots of Fire fame
to Mary Rand, Lynn Davies and Ann Packer
to Mary Peters
to Seb Coe and Steve Ovett
to Linford Christie and Sally Gunnell
to Colin Jackson and Jonathan Edwards and Denise Lewis
and to Kelly Holmes and Paula Radcliffe.

The book, which runs to 242 pages plus 32 pages of photos, features in-depth profiles of 78 athletes while more than 500 appear in a British Honours List which details their main career achievements. Seb Coe, who Watman rates as Britain's greatest ever athlete after his unique feat in retaining the Olympic 1500 metres title in Los Angeles in 1984, took time out from running Britain's preparations for the 2012 Games to write the foreword. He said: '...he has lovingly and painstakingly chronicled those individuals who have left a nation with some of the most breathtaking moments in our sporting history... I know that this book will relive those moments for everybody that reads it.'

Order this book from www.sportsbooks.ltd.uk.

Who's who of British International Athletes 1945-1960

by Michael Sheridan

This 206-page A4 book contains:

  • biographical details of all athletes who represented British teams in international track and field competition in the period 1945-60
  • data on their international appearances and their career best performances
  • a list of all meetings which qualified as full British internationals
  • a picture gallery of athletes

This book can be obtained for:
£16.00 (UK)
25 Euros
$30.00 (USA)
(price includes postage)
Other parts of the world, prices on request.

Payment by:
1. cheque drawn on a British bank payable to Michael Sheridan
2. cash
3. PayPal - email for payment details

Michael Sheridan, 27 Yew Tree Park, Congresbury, Somerset, BS49 5ER

For more info go to britishathleticshistory.co.uk

 

Track Stats

June 2013 edition now available.

For more information see Track Stats

   

The NUTS Annual

Published as "British Athletics", for more information see Annual and Compilers