100 Years of Athletics in Wolverton* & Milton Keynes.
Wolverton Amateur Athletic Club was founded in 1885 after the opening of Wolverton Park on 3rd August 1885. Here on a seven acre site, the London and North Western Railway provided a cycle track, running track, a football pitch and tennis and bowls courts. The club successfully held an annual Whitsun Sports Day (end May/early June) right through to the outbreak of the Great War in 1914. It was not unusual for some 3-4000 spectators to cram into the Park.
In 1921 Wolverton AAC were the first winners of the Buckinghamshire County track & field Championships shield held at Chesham and went on retain the trophy through to 1926, the latter Championships being held in Bletchley Park.
In both 1926 and 1932 the “National” Cross-Championships were held locally with Stacey Hill Farm the base. This event is still the most important cross-country championship in the UK and in their centenary year(1985) was hosted by Milton Keynes AC in Campbell Park. The club continued to provide athletics through the 1930’s including their annual Sports Days although attendances were beginning to drop. They also sent teams to cross-country events.
Post the second world war the Whitsun Sports were revived in 1947 and in their Diamond Jubilee event no less than 4000 people passed through the turnstiles. Into the 1950’s and the introduction of ladies athletics proved very successful. However by the end of this decade club membership was dwindling and the final Whitsun Sports were held in 1962. Amongst a group of members who were trying to improve the fortunes of the cub was Milford Callow. 50 years on Milford is still involved with local athletics and has been Club President for over 20 years.
Milford was involved in 1965 with the organisation of a road race in the area. The Wolverton Five continues to the present day. In 1967 Wolverton hosted, for the first time the Buckinghamshire Cross-country Championships but, sadly due to the deteriorating facilities had to leave Wolverton Park, and moved their HQ to the Radcliffe School, Wolverton.
The Club changed its name to Milton Keynes AC in 1976. Mick Bromilow was their inaugural Secretary and was soon instrumental in introducing youngsters into the sport as well as encouraging more ladies to be involved. By the end of the 1970’s the Club were involved with league athletics for both men and women as well as young athletes. Moving to the present day the Club have a strong presence in the Southern Athletics League, the UK Women’s League and the Youth Development Leagues. They have been in Division One of the Chiltern Cross-Country League for over 30 years and winning the league title on 15 occasions in the last 22 years.
We have a large road running contingent and compete in races across all distances; 5km to 30miles plus. The Milton Keynes Festival of Running is organised by MMKAC and annually held in March. We also organise the Milton Keynes 10km(end June) and the Wolverton “5”(November) plus the “Tour of Milton Keynes”(early September)
In 2005 the Club negotiated a sponsorship deal with Marshall Amplification and from 1 January 2006 were re-named Marshall Milton Keynes AC. Along with a coaching programme which has been the envy of many and through this system three young men have made it to the world stage.
CRAIG PICKERING (100m & 4x100m Relay)
2005 – European Indoor Championships 60m silver: European Cup 100m gold & 4x100m relay gold
2007 – World Championships 100m 6th semi-final
2008 – Olympic Games 100m 5th quarter-final, 4x100m relay final(disqualified)
GREG RUTHERFORD (Long Jump)
2005 – European Junior Championships: gold
2006 – European championships: silver, Commonwealth Games: 8th
2008 – Olympic Games: 10th
2009 – World championships: 5th
2010 – Commonwealth Games: silver
2012 – Olympic Games: gold
2014 – European & Commonwealth Games: gold
2015 – World Championships: gold
2016- European championships: gold, Olympic Games: bronze
CHRIS CLARKE (200, 400M & 4x400M Relay)
2007 – World Youth Championships 400m gold
2008 – European Junior Championships 400m gold
2011 – World Championships 4 x 400m Relay, 7th
2016 – Para-Olympics: “guide” to Libby Clegg(100m/200m gold)