Word has came to the club that one of the butterflies of the late 50’s and early 60’s Jim Freel has passed away. You may ask why the butterflies ? Under the direction of William Hornell, sprint coach of the day, the club had one of the best junior quartets 4 x100yards in the UK. The endurance boys in the club called them the butterflies as like all sprinter they only saw them in the spring/summer season. Jim was no mean sprinter being in the team which won the AAA junior title in 1959 at the White City,London -The only Scottish team ever to do this. Club secretary of the time Lex Orr wrote an amusing letter to the AAA committee complaining the Shettleston team had been missed out of the 1960 programme as the winners but worse as an English team were named as winners !
Jim was also part of the junior team which won the Scottish National titles in 1959 and 1960. The names of John Smith, Jim Freel, John McNulty and Jim Meggat were a quartet to be feared on the Highland Games /Championships circuit of the day.
Jim won a number of Lanarkshire titles and progressed his sporting achievements to an excellent academic background to study PE at Jordanhill College of Education. He was in good company there with other club members such as Tom McNab and former Scottish football manager Craig Brown as his class mates. He spent the majority of his teaching career at Our Lady High, Motherwell and a number of our current club members remember his legendary status at the school.
Jim was always proud of his connections with the club and I am sure his family will agree it played a part in his formation as an adult.
I am sure all club members would like to pass their best wishes to the family.
His funeral Mass will take place on Wednesday 21st February at St John’s Bosco Church in 91 Jerviston St New Stevenson, ML1 4JS at 11am
It is also with great sadness that the club has learnt of the death of Ian McWatt. A well-known figure in the photo-finish team and timekeeping, Ian was a huge supporter of athletics across a range of events over a number of years. He helped at both at the Allan Scally and the club’s Open Graded Meetings
All at Shettleston Harriers offer our condolences to the McWatt family at this sad time.
His funeral will also be on Wednesday 21 February at Cardross Crematorium, Cardross, Dumbarton G82 5HD at 11:15am
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