Albie Thomas back in Santry

Jul 11, 2008 [Stephen Byrne] Clonliffe Harriers were honoured to welcome Albie Thomas back to Morton Stadium in Santry on the anniversary of his 3 mile world record in the Clonliffe Harriers/Crusaders Invitational on July 9th 1958. Albie arrived in Santry with his wife Nola and Ronnie Delaney for a night of nostalgia as our MC on the night Pat Bonass eloquently described the event.

The Dublin County Board were hosting an athletic event that evening and kindly held up a race so that Albie suitable attired in his singlet and bearing his original race number completed a lap of the track. Albie took the applause from athletes and spectators as he made his way around the track.

Albie and Ireland’s 1956 1500 metre champion Ronnie Delany were invited to unveil the 1958 wall in the clubhouse. This wall close to Brian Brewer’s mural featured photographs from both that 1 and 2 Mile records as well as other memorabilia from that magnificent Meet.

The guests in packed club-house were treated to fine cuisine and speeches from Fingal Lord Mayor Michael O’Donavon, Paddy Marley Club President Clonliffe Harriers and Jim O’Neill Crusaders Athletic Club all describing in great detail what the achievements of our honoured guests meant to them and their clubs. Paddy Marley made a presentation to both Albie and Ronnie on behalf of the club.

This was followed by speeches from Albie and Ronnie. Albie explained it was his hope for many years to come back to Santry and revisit the track that held so many memories for him one last time. He presented club singlets to Paddy Marley and Michael O’Donavon. An Australian flag to Pat Bonass and a Koala bear for Pat’s better half.

Ronnie Delany expressed his gratitude to Clonliffe for remembering the occasion in this formal way and expressed his delight in seeing so many familiar faces. This is what athletics is all about, enjoyment and camaraderie.

Paddy and Ronnie both made references to the upcoming Brother Morton Memorial Meeting taking place in Morton Stadium Santry on Friday 25th July next from 6.30pm and encouraged as many people as possible to attend.

The evening was finished off with good music and great craic.