Athlete of the year 2019

Kevin Dillon

The club is once again to make an award to one female and one male member of the senior section who is considered to be the outstanding athlete of the year, following the popularity of previous years’ awards. This will take the form of a tankard and, in order to make a representative choice, I am asking all members of the senior section to vote for the member they consider deserves the award most.

The choice does not necessarily have to be a club champion. Factors worthy of consideration would include a substantial improvement over the year, an outstanding result in a particular meeting, or you may like to consider a contribution to the coaching side of the club or a member who has represented the club in a manner deserving of recognition. Members aged at least 15 years can make nominations. Awards will be made at the Christmas Handicaps on 22nd December and nominations will be accepted on the day.

Vote here:

Alternatively, you can send your nominations to Kevin Dillon

  • By post to 22 Ashdene Road, Withington, Manchester M20 4WX
  • By email to

Previous winners were:

Alison Morris (1997), Debbie Beresford (1998, 2003 and 2005), Lindsay Wraxall (1999), Emma McIntyre (2000), Jean Skitt (2001 and 2010), Lynne Schofield (2002), Brenda Bradshaw (2004), Holly Thomas (2006), Cara Kavanagh (2007), Charlotte Holmes (2008), Anousheh Mahjoob (2009), Karen Spilsbury (2011), Wendy Woodhead (2012), Gemma Hopley (2013), Emma Tolond (2014), Melanie Barber (2015 and 2016), Caroline Baba (2017) and Alice Stiles (2018).

Tony Keller (1987), Chris O’Brien (1988), Dave Gee (1989), George Lawson (1990), Frank Bradley (1991), Tony MacDonald (1992), Joe Moran (1993), Steve Yates (1994), Mike Cunningham (1995), Carl Summers (1996 and 2011), Mike Morris (1997), Peter Ferguson (1998), Vic Blanchard and Achim Schüle (joint award in 1999), Arnold Bradshaw (2000), Andy Donnelly (2001), Andy Skitt (2002 and 2009), Aaron Rodger (2003), Ciaran Fitzpatrick (2004), Phil Holmes (2005), Kes Salmon (2006 and 2015), David Henshaw (2007), Liam Bartlett (2008), Mikey Fennell (2010), Ed Fazakerley (2012 and 2018), Julian Ernst (2013), Jason Brogan (2014), Ian Fennell (2016) and Matt Coxon (2017).

Richard Wilde – Remembered

On the 24th September 2019 Richard Wilde, a highly talented yet modest life member of our club, passed away at the age of 73.

Richard Wilde 1945-2019

Richard was a Life Member of Manchester Harriers & Athletic Club serving at times on the committee as well as setting cross country courses. He had an illustrious running career but was extremely modest about his achievements and shunned publicity. He was successful over many surfaces and distances, excelling on the fells, cross country, road and indoors.

In 1970, at the European Athletics Indoor Championships in Vienna, he won Gold in the 3,000 metres with a new world record time of 7:46.85. That same year he came sixth and took Team Gold in the International Cross Country Championships. His versatility was obvious when he achieved what was to become a legendary time in the Lantern Pike fell race. He is the only person to break 30 minutes for the race. He also won the classic Fairfield Horseshoe race as well as Lyme Park, Great Hill and Edenfield – some of them in record times.

Richard Wilde 1970 European Athletics Indoor Championships, Vienna, 3000m Gold

He improved his marathon time of 2:23.04 in the 1972 Maxol Marathon to 2:14.43 when he won the 1979 Grandma’s Marathon in Minnisota, USA. Two years later he ran the same race two seconds faster, 2:14.41, finishing fourth. In 1978 he won the Paavo Nurmi Marathon in Iron County, Wisconsin, USA in 2:19.10. The hilly terrain, the humidity and the August heat contributed to the slower time but he had set a course record which stood for many years until the course was changed.

Richard Wilde 1977 setting the Lantern Pike Fell Race record of 29:12. This records still stands

Richard was in his prime in a very different era to that of today. Rather than huge sums of money, a typical prize would be a tea set. On one occasion, having won a race overseas, he was presented with a SHOTGUN which he brought home on the plane – a different era indeed!

Richard was a complex character and something of a perfectionist as he demonstrated on many occasions when setting cross country courses. His reluctance to talk about his own running, whilst regrettable for all those of us who would have loved to listen, added to his charm. He was well liked and respected and will be missed. It was a privilege to know him.

Arnold Bradshaw

Video: A.A.A. Championships 1969

Below is a highlights video of the 1969 A.A.A Championships at White City. Ricky is bib #21 finishing 3rd – at about 2 mins and 40 seconds into this video, direct link to the start here:

Other Articles and Tributes

Neil Shuttleworth wrote a lovely article with some insight into Ricky’s races.

Pike Racers includes him in their history of the Lantern Pike fell race.

Wikipedia has an entry.

It is with great sadness that I heard of the passing of Richard Wilde. Very much his own man and a wonderful Athlete and human being. His exploits are well documented of course and hard to imagine that behind that sometimes vague expression was a man of steely determination. I last saw him in January of this year when visiting Ron Hill, a near neighbour. After chatting for about 20 minutes in his lounge he insisted on walking back with me down the hill to Ron’s home. A caring attitude, much lacking in today’s world. Rest in peace Richard.

Stan Taylor

Richard Wilde 1945-2019

It is with deep sadness and regret that we announce the death of Richard Wilde at the age of 73. Richard was a member for more than 50 years. An exceptionally talented runner, he went on to serve on the Committee and continued to help the Club host many events.

A full review of his achievements will be posted soon. Richard died in hospital on the 24th September 2019.

Emil Voigt awarded IAAF World Heritage plaque

Manchester Harriers have an athlete in the first 10 inductees of the IAAF World Athletics Heritage Plaque, the first British athlete to do so.
Emil was the last British athlete to win a long-distance running gold medal at the Olympic Games prior to Mo Farah’s 2012 double. Voigt’s success was 104 years earlier at the first London Olympic Games where he triumphed in the 5-mile event in a time of 25:11.

Christmas Handicap and Sports Personality Results 2016

Congratulations to Ian Fennell and Mel Barber for winning the Sportsman and woman of the year awards. Carl Summers and George Lawson were runners up in the men’s award, and  Emily Hughes and Jessica Morrissey were runners up in the women’s award.

In the Christmas Handicap, well done to Mo Fox for winning the senior’s race, and Steffi Berndt for winning the junior race.

Download the seniors results here and the junior results here