Sad news: Peter Carton – a key pioneer with Shettleston and SAL

Sunday 17th December 2023

Spikes on track

Peter Carton

21 April 1953 – 13 December 2023

Everyone in the athletics community in Scotland will be saddened to hear of the passing of Shettleston Harriers legend and former Scottish Athletics President, Peter Carton.

We carry below a tribute piece by one of Peter’s close friends for many years, Ron Morrison.

We send our condolences to the Carton family, all at Shettleston Harriers and many other friends across athletics in Scotland who will be aware of his pioneering work in terms of guiding the current structure of our sports.

Funeral details as follows:

Monday 8 January – Coffin received into St Cadoc’s Church at 6pm

Tuesday 9 January at 10am at St Cadoc’s, Cambuslang, Glasgow.

(Address  of church: Rosebank Drive, Halfway, Cambuslang G72 8TD)

After the Mass, the cremation will take place at 11am at:

South Lanarkshire Crematorium

Sydes Brae; Blantyre G72 0TL


Peter Carton passed away peaceful after long illness, aged 7O years.

Peter’s association with the sport he loved started early in his life running for Belgrave Harriers in London.

Growing up in Dulwich he was immersed in all sports excelling at cricket, football and athletics. He was part of a very strong Belgrave youth team in the late 60s and early 70s and represented English schools at 800m. He still holds the Belgrave U17 5000m record set in 1969. After completing his further education, Peter worked in the famous Savoy Hotel in the accounting department.

Around 1982 he moved to Glasgow to be with his future wife Angela.

A chance meeting with Bill Scally in Kelvingrove Park, during a lunch-time jog, rekindled his enthusiasm for the sport.

Joining Shettleston Harriers as an athlete, his skills in administration and organisation were soon recognised and put to use serving as club secretary from 1986-1993, Club President 1993-2007, as well as a number of other roles within the club.

These skills would be important to the whole athletics community in Scotland as he moved into administration at the highest level later in his life.

Like all good club men, Peter regularly turned out for his club over the country, road and on the track. He helped Shettleston Harriers win team titles at County, District and National level as well as his own many individual successes.

Peter was proud to represent his new city when winning the Nuremberg Marathon. His club mates will remember a generous, outgoing person during his time at the club.

His involvement in the club’s Centenary year of 2004 was particularly invaluable especially in helping to develop the women’s participation in the club. He was awarded Honorary Membership of Shettleston at this time.

In his working life as Financial Director Central Box in East Kilbride, the company sponsored key events including the Edinburgh to Glasgow Relay, Scottish 10km championships and the Allan Scally Memorial Relay. Peter also privately supported a number of talented athletes personally.

Peter’s talents were recognised while serving as Finance Officer of the XC Commission and in season 1994-5 he was elected as Vice-President of the Scottish Athletics Federation.

Peter Carton became the second President of the Scottish Athletics Federation 1995 and, as was the tradition at the time served, for two years.

Change was in the air to develop the governance of the sport. A few years earlier in season 1992-3, the five Governing bodies for athletics in Scotland amalgamated and after a settling period the sport was looking to improve itself again.

Teaming up with his friend and Vice-President Ron Morrison they spent many hours planning the future structure of the sport. A Vision Plan was produced with the help of Neil Park and Sports Council advisers and presented to the clubs during many meetings over a year.

To say that the meetings were stressful and time-consuming is an understatement – many of the clubs and Officials were not ready for the change.

Once the Vision Plan was approved a second phase was required in producing a four-year Business Plan to present to the Sports Council for funding.

The volunteer led, professional managed plan was approved by the clubs at an EGM in November 1997 and about nine months later funded by the Sports Council to the tune of £1.2m (a very tidy sum at the time).

The President’s Annual Report for 1998-9 gives a good view of how successful this hard work was.

‘After a gestation period of about three years, the Scottish Athletics Federation Business Plan was approved and funded by the Scottish Sports Council, and finally put into operation in 1998.

‘The result is that there are now ten full-time professional staff managing the operation of our sport, led by the Chief Executive David Joy and joined by Neil Park, General Manager, Meg Stone, Performance and Excellence Manager, and Chris Robison, Education Officer.

‘Peter Thomson was appointed as National Endurance Coach with new Lottery money and Linda Low, who is employed by Team Sport Scotland, acts as our Youth Development Officer. Athletics was successful in its bid to be one of the core sports in the Scottish Institute of Sport (SIS).

‘The new Board of Management is chaired by Peter Carton of Shettleston Harriers. An Operational Plan has been established to achieve the goals of the four-year Business Plan and I can confidently say that the sport has never before had a better organisational basis for its future.’

A few years later Joan Watt, the fourth President persuaded the sport to become a Limited Company. That is the structure that Peter, Ron and Joan envisaged and led in establishing and can be seen in today’s organisation as SAL.

Everyone in Scottish Athletics is indebted to Peter’s huge contribution over many years to what we have today. Our condolences to Peter’s wife Angela and his London-based family.

With thanks to Ron Morrison and John Mackay



Tags: Shettleston Harriers

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