Send us news by text, start your message Star News and your send photos and videos to 80360
Tribute paid to Sutton Harriers legend, Billy McMinnis 1915-2013
9:03pm Saturday 28th September 2013 in Sport
St Helens-Sutton A C regret to announce the death of club president R W 'Billy' McMinnis who passed away on Saturday 21 September, aged 98.
Billy started running at the age of 21 in the 1936/37 cross country season and quickly made his mark by anchoring Sutton Harriers to the Northern cross-country title at Worsley.
In 1939 Billy was again in the team which won the title and when cross-country resumed in 1946/47 was in the team which won five consecutive Northern titles and four National titles (they finished second to Belgrave in 1948). Between 1947 and 1953 the team was unbeatable in the West Lancashire Championships Billy capping their 1953 victory by winning the individual title at West Kirby.
Billy's stamina came from two sources. When he started running all athletes received a massage after training and Billy didn't like the cold hands of the club's masseur so a team-mate advised him to stay out longer and miss the massage.
The other was the fact that Billy's job was as a P E instructor in the R.A.F. and he would run each morning from his home to the RAF station at Padgate, spent the entire day teaching and demonstrating PE before running home in the evening, a round trip of 14 miles a day, followed by a race on Saturdays.
During the summer fitness was maintained by participating in the popular two mile track team races, especially against local but friendly rivals Pembroke.
Billy moved on to longer distances winning the Liverpool, Polytechnic and A.A.A. Marathons, making a dramatic entrance into veterans' athletics by winning world titles at 5000m and 10000m. He always looked resplendent in his blazer and never lost that military bearing which he acquired during his time in the RAF.
Our thoughts are with his wife Doreen and daughters Carol and Elizabeth and other members of the McMinnis family.
The funeral took place at St Helens Crematorium on Monday 30 September.
Comments are closed on this article.