Contents The Gallery Athletics

The Athletics section has now been split across several pages to minimise download times.  Here are the links:


The Straight 440
Certificates & Trophies
Running Spikes


Certificates & Trophies

Awarded to Les Abbatt at the Area Sports c1961; they got your name wrong Les!


Running Spikes

For the majority (certainly in the early days), athletics footwear comprised a pair of plimsolls and only those with particular prowess or serious aspirations possessed spikes.  David Spinks (see earlier) still has his pair, made in Bolton by the Company that later became Reebok.

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Ready for the off

50 years later

Contemporary advert

Joseph W. Foster, who was a member of his local running club the Bolton Primrose Harriers, made his first pair of spiked running shoes in his garden shed in 1895 and by 1900 he was in business making handmade running shoes for local athletes. In 1904 Alf Shrubb broke the 10 mile record whilst wearing a pair of Foster's running pumps that cost him a 5/6d (27.5p). By 1908 the pumps were a favourite of Olympic and professional athletes.

In 1933 Joe Foster died, leaving the business in the capable hands of his sons John & James. After WW2 the company established a reputation on the rugby and soccer fields and their boots became standard footwear for many professional clubs including Liverpool, Newcastle United, Manchester United and Bolton Wanderers. The entire Moscow Dynamo team, on its first ever visit to the West, took Foster boots with them on their return to Russia. To cope with demand, the factory was expanded and renamed 'Olympic Works.'

By 1950, German companies Adidas and Puma  were taking over the market. The young Fosters saw that they needed to change tack - and they decided to re-launch the company. Eventually they decided upon 'Reebok' (a fast and agile gazelle) as the brand name. Reebok grew steadily thereafter and gained wider prominence in the 1970s and 1980s when a boom in demand for sports shoes developed, particularly as a fashion item. Reebok remained virtually unknown in the USA until 1979.







Wymondham College Remembered