Founded 1888
  Joe Percy 10K            

About Joe Percy

“Well, not quite the weather we were hoping for, more like one of those wintry cross country days that JWP loved so much.”

I came across the comment on the 2004 Race Report and it struck me that with so many new people taking part in the race, coupled with the fact that these results go out to all who complete the race; it would be a good opportunity to let people know something about the man himself.

Joe Percy was what most people would call a gentleman. He joined the club in 1929 and was an active member of it for well over 60 years, either running for it or running it until his death in 2001. He was an ever present at local, regional and national cross country races, his particular passion - and he was passionate about the sport and extremely knowledgeable about the running of it at all levels. Whilst his loyalty was with Longwood Harriers in the first instance he was undivided in his desire to be of service to the sport in this region.

Joe Percy

This service was recognised in some way when he was appointed President of the English Cross Country Union.

The photograph is taken from his book written for Longwood’s Centenary in 1888, the writing of which was an achievement to be proud of and one that continues to provide access to the early years of the sport in the Huddersfield area. Regular weekly paper-chases being one example of the way things used to be run. The book also charts the ups and downs of the club through that particular century.

Here’s an excerpt from his introduction…

‘Sixty years a member of Longwood Harriers A.C. and I can honestly say that I have enjoyed every minute of it.

As a runner I was never an international star, but I always enjoyed a battle on the club runs on a Saturday afternoon, and the joy of selection to run in the county championships. When all the runs were over, no luxury of a shower, but a tin bath of cold water in the yard for us – happy days.’

I like to think of myself as a team man though I managed to win the club cross country races and the road races, taking the fastest time awards. But at the end of the day, I used to look forward to laying trails around Huddersfield and district for the lads to follow.

One thing stands out more than anything else, and that is the friendships and the joy of mixing with others from all over England. Long may it continue to be so…’

He would have enjoyed this week’s race and course but due to increasing ill health he never quite made it up to Thurstonland which was first used for the race in September 2000

(Text by Andy Miller, Longwood Harriers)





Website by Tom Reed