How it all began – our president, Lawrie Brown recalls….
The origins of Birkenhead Athletic Club (BAC) lay in the mind and soul of Jerry Williams.
A small group of social runners met regularly a the top of the Causeway since 1989 on a friendly, cooperative basis. Under the guidance and inspiration of Tony Bobby, who led by his beautiful style of running and strict command of “No talking”, the group had entered a whole range of races including marathons in London, Snowdon, Liverpool, Nottingham etc. Jerry, who jointed the group later, had ambitions beyond Snowdon and persuaded the friends to formalise into a recognised Athletic Club. The dream of automatic entries into London Marathon burned in Jerry’s soul!
Anonymous “Causeway Runners” became Birkenhead Athletic Club
There was some resistance to the idea, but Jerry was determined and the seed he had sewn took root! But what to call the club? “Causeway Runners” was one of the proposed titles. T-shirts were bought and labelled and several of the group ran the Nottingham marathon inspired by the Causeway logo on their chests. However, the heaving crowds in Nottingham gave no recognition to the clearly anonymous Causeway Runners title and a more distinctive title was demanded by the future Councillor Williams.
“Bebington Athletic” was suggested, but was rejected on the grounds that no one would know where Bebington was either! After an exhausting brainstorm it was decided the new name should be Birkenhead Athletic Club despite the reality that it was not based in Birkenhead nor had any connection with Birkenhead (save Jerry who lived in Prenton).
On 15 April 1995 the club came into formal existence. Where? In Jerry’s front room. The club name, colours and subs were agreed… Present in the front room along with Jerry on that eventful day along with Jerry were: Lawrie Brown, Tony Bobby, Les Hall, Pauline Roberts, Margaret Delaney, Tony Devoy and Steve Bailey.
Adopted from a speech by Lawrie Brown at the 2015 AGM & BAC’s 20th birthday party