Scottish Athletes Prominent in Hall of Fame
2nd December 2002
The first fifty Scottish sportmen and sportswomen were inducted into the Scottish Sports Hall of Fame in Edinburgh at the weekend and athletics was very much to the fore.
Of all the nominees it was revealed that legendary sprinter Eric Liddell was the most popular choice of the public. And he joined fellow athletes Captain Robert Barclay Allardice, Donald Dinnie, Launceston Elliot, Ian Stewart and Allan Wells in the first fifty.
Liddell was famed for spurning the opportunity to run his favoured 100m event at the 1924 Olympics because the final was scheduled for a Sunday and that went against his religious beliefs. Instead, he entered the 400m where he stormed to the Gold.
Allardice's impact on the world of endurance challenges is still being felt today. He covered a distance of 1,000 miles in 1,000 hours for a purse of 1,000 guineas in 1809. A similar challenge has now been organised as part of the build-up to the Flora London Marathon next Spring.
Dinnie is a legend of the Highland Games, who lived from 1837-1916. He won an incredible 11,000 contests in running, hurdling, jumping and heavy events in a long career which lasted into his 70s.
Elliot was the first ever Briton to win an Olympic title, when he won weightligting gold at the 1896 Olympics in Athens. His all-round athletic ability was reflected by his participation for Great Britain in the 100m as well.
Stewart was one of Scotland's premier athletes during the 1970s. He famously headed Ian McCafferty for a Scottish 1-2 in the 5000m at the 1970 Edinburgh Commonwealth Games. But he also claimed Olympic Bronze, European Gold and World Cross Country Gold in a distinguished athletics career.
Allan Wells' victory in the 100m at the 1980 Moscow Olympics is one of the greatest moments in Scottish Athletics history. Added to his career haul of six Commonwealth medals and his case for inclusion was too compelling to be overlooked by the judging panel.
The Hall of Fame is being housed at the Museum of Scotland on Chambers Street, Edinburgh. Athletes must be retired or inactive for five years before they are eligible for induction.