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Athletics: 1902 race for rediscovered Milne trophy was one of controversy


The Milne Trophy has a very colourful history with controversy and bitter ill feeling emerging at the end of the 1902 championship race when it was first competed for.

George Wyness of Argyll Harriers was involved in a neck-and neck battle for the title with Fred Morgan of Shire Harriers all the way from the start at Bonnymuir Place, up Westburn Road and through the countryside at Summerhill and Mastrick.

As the duo returned into the built-up area and sprinted towards the finishing line at the foot of Cornhill Road, spectators crowded in from both sides leaving little space for the runners.

Wyness breasted the tape in the middle of the road while Morgan ran round the side of it on the pavement, leaving the judges with the difficult task of deciding who had won.

The referee decided in favour of Wyness as he had broken the tape while Morgan had failed to do so as he wasn’t on the road.

Shire officials lodged a protest and at a subsequent acrimonious meeting of the Aberdeen and District Harriers Association, the decision was reversed.

Morgan was declared the winner on the basis that he was ahead of his rival at the end of the race even though he didn’t cross the official finishing line.

Wyness took little consolation from the fact his club, Argyll Harriers, won the team trophy and immediately challenged Morgan to a rematch over the same course the following week.

Morgan politely declined but said he would be happy to defend his title in the following year’s championship race.

That didn’t happen as a few months later the controversial champion emigrated to South Africa.

Wyness went on to win the title for the next three years before joining the ranks of the professionals.


Source : EveningExpress

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