Dublin University Harriers and Athletics Club Launch Hall of Fame

Posted on: 16 June 2011

The DU Harriers and Athletics Club (DUHAC) celebrated the launch of their Hall of Fame by honouring members of the Athletics team of 1961 who won all ten of their competitive matches that year.  The 50th celebration of the achievements of the 1961 team marked the first such event by the Club to honour an outstanding Trinity team or individual.  The awards, which will be presented annually at a reception to mark DUHAC sports alumni, were presented by the Provost, Dr John Hegarty.

Of the 29 athletes who competed in some or all of the ten matches in 1961, 27 were traced by the current DUHAC President, Professor Cyril J Smyth.  Fifteen of the athletes were present to receive their Hall of Fame awards in person while two others were represented by family members.  The inaugural Hall of Fame awardees came from as far afield of Australia, Nigeria, the Cayman Islands, Norway, Italy, the UK and Ireland.  In addition, their coach at the time, Professor Cyril White, attended the event and also received an award. 

Back Row: John Lawson, John Leeson, Adrian Snow, Anthony Sparshott, Cyril Smyth (Hon. President DUHAC), Patrick Davey, Derek Tyler, Henry O’Clery, Babafemi Osoba, Alan Quinn, Ronald Kirkham.

Front Row: Francis Quinlan (Hon. Secretary 1961), Mario Pampanini, Marie Belton (representing her brother Paul Toomey), Robert Francis (Captain 1961), Provost Professor John Hegarty, Tjerand Lunde (Vice-Captain 1961), Henry Kennedy-Skipton, Cyril White (Coach 1961), Anthony Shillington (representing his brother Colin Shillington).

The achievements of the 1961 DUHAC team included victories against Birmingham University, Clonliffe Harriers Select, Queen’s University of Belfast, Oxford University and United London Hospitals, the Amateur Athletic Union of Eire Select, Civil Service Harriers and Avondale Selected, the Londonderry Trophy match against Queens and the Cheshire Regiment, the DU Inter-Club Relays, the GV Ryan Trophy match and the Colours match against UCD.  In addition, many of the team competed in the British Universities Athletic Union Championships at Motspur Park in London, winning five medals which included one gold, two silver and two bronze. In the University Team Competition that same year, DUHAC finished fourth behind the power-houses of British university athletics, London and Loughborough, and narrowly behind Cambridge in third place. Also that year at the AAUE National Championships, the team members collected three gold, four silver and four bronze medals and at the All-Ireland AAUE-NIAAA Championships, DUHAC athletes won one gold and two silver medals.