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Welcome to Derby Athletic ClubMoorways Stadium, Moor Lane, Derby, DE24 9HY Correspondence to: Moorways Stadium, Moor Lane, Derby, DE24 9HY

Club history

This is a brief history of the club – apologies for any omissions. If there is anything you know should be added, please contact the communications officer.

Derby & County Athletic Club was founded in 1887 when five members of St Johns Church Men’s Bible Class were introduced to cross-country running by the Rev Hall-Prior. By the 1890s the group had grown to more than 200, and the team had won the Midland counties Junior Cross-Country Championships.

Standards continued to improve, with club members representing Great Britain in the Olympics in 1908,1964, 1988 and 2004.

We have had various Olympians from the club; the first recorded was Harry Sewell, who ran the steeplechase in the 1908 London Olympics. Arthur Keily ran the marathon in Rome 1960, and other Olympians include Mike Bullivant, Tokyo 1964, and Phil Harries in Seoul 1988 and then the winter Olympics in 2002, Salt Lake City.

The club enjoyed a halcyon period in the late 1950s, early 1960s, winning almost every competition entered.

National 12 Stage Road Relay Champions, four times 1959-62; this was the London to Brighton relay.
National Senior Cross Country Champions, three times 1960-62.
European Clubs Cross Country Champions, twice 1961-62.

During this same period, the Juniors (18-21) and Youths (16-18) also won National Cross Country Team titles. The club also won the national Senior Cross Country Title in 1974, the U13 Road Relay Title in 1989 and U17 Relay in 2001.

By 1980 the club was also taking part in road running and track and field athletics. The latter was significantly helped by the decision of Derby City Council to upgrade the facilities at Moorways to include a national standard eight-lane all-weather track.
As a result of this, the club moved its HQ to Moorways, and in 1989 the present day clubhouse was built onto the back of the grandstand.

In 1949, in response to the efforts of a local education officer, a ladies athletic club was formed in Derby, and by 1958 members were achieving national, international, and Olympic honours, the most celebrated of these being the 2000 World Long Jump Champion Fiona May.

The ladies were National Age Group Team Champions at U13 1990, U15 1982 Road Relay and U17 1984 Road Relay.

Individually six athletes have won national cross-country titles.
1946: Geoff Saunders U18 Men Youths
1962: John Simmons U18 Men Youths
1978: Nick Lees U21 Men Junior
1983: Wendy Wright U15 Ladies
1993: Kevin Farrow U17 Men
2017: Ben Connor Senior Men

Mike Bullivant briefly held the European 10,000m record in 1964, and Karen Martin won a Commonwealth silver medal in the javelin in 1998.

A picture from the past to share. Some of the Derby and County AC team before the 1981 English national cross-country championships at Parliament Hill London. Many in the sport regard this as the home for the national championships.

A blast from the past. It was a traditional Sunday club run to mark the beginning of the winter cross-country season. Some are still connected with the club.

Another race with a certain Alan Domleo clocking the marathon time; apparently this race was three miles over distance.

Results from a 10-mile race in 1972.
Note who finished fifth, in a time only the likes of Ben Connor could get close to at the moment!