After the Summer break the 2016 Grand Prix Series is back in action in the Morton Stadium tonight September 1st for the 50th running of the Walker Cup. Sadly this will also be the first running of the Walker Cup since the death of Frazer Walker last December.
The Walker Cup is now 50 years old. It is one of the top Clonliffe club races, a 4 mile track race with a history going back to 1966. The cup was presented to the club by the Walker family that year. The Walkers had a long tradition with Clonliffe Harriers going right back to the near foundings of the club when George Frazer Walker in 1893 joined the then 7 year old club, two years later he was on the Clonliffe National Junior Cross Country team that won the first National title for the young club. Some seven years later he was club President.
George`s four sons were also Clonliffe Harriers, the Clonliffe National Senior Cross Country winning team featured three of the four: George, Charles and Albert. George Junior followed in his father`s foot steps and was Clonliffe President in 1936.
In turn George junior`s sons also became members of Clonliffe, these third generation Clonliffe Walkers included Frazer. In 1953 Frazer became the third generation Walker to win the National Cross Country team title. Over the years Clonliffe athletes have raced on the 16 laps of Santry as a cinder, tartan and now mondo track battling for the honour of winning this prestigious race.
That first running of the Walker Cup, 50 years ago, was on July 10th 1966, a Saturday morning. It was 20 days before England won the World Cup. 50 years later the Walker Cup is still going strong, the same can`t be said for the England football team!! The first winner 50 years ago was Terry Purcell, it`ll be very interesting to see who wins on the race`s 50th running. Pamela Cooper is a generous sponsor of the prizes for tonight`s race.