Derby & County Athletic Club was founded in 1887 when 5 members of St Johns Church Men’s Bible Class were introduced to cross-country running by the Rev. Hall-Prior.
By the 1890′s the group had grown to over 200, and their 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, also Arthur Keily, Marathon in Rome 1960, also of note is Mike Bullivant, Tokyo 1964, then Phil Harries in Seoul 1988 and then the Winter Games in 94.
The club enjoyed a halcyon period in the late 50’s, early 60’s. Winning almost every competition they entered.
National 12 Stage Road Relay Champions, 4 times 1959-62 this was the London to Boston relay.
National Senior Cross Country Champions, 3 times 1960-62.
European Clubs Cross Country Champions, 2 times 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 from The Wagon and Horses (near St. John’s Church on Ashbourne Road) 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 being the 2000 World Long Jump Champion Fiona May.
The Ladies too 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
Also Mike Bullivant, briefly held the European 10,000 Metre record in 1964, and Karen Martin won a Commonwealth Silver medal in the Javelin in 1998.
Please email me with any additions or corrections to this page, Joe Landers
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 and parliament Hill will be hosting again this winter Feb 2018.
A blast of the past. It was a traditional Sunday club run to mark the beginning of the winter cross season. Some still connected with the club.
Another race with a certain Alan Domleo clock the marathon time and apparently this race was three mile over distance
Results from a 10 mile race in 1972.
Note who finished 5th, in a time only the likes of Ben Connor could get close to at the moment!