The Club came into being in 1887 as East Twickenham Harriers, which, as it grew, became Twickenham Harriers in 1888 and Thames Valley Harriers in 1890. Steve Cotterill was the Club’s first National Cross Country Champion in 1892. The past sixty years has seen International status be attained by over one hundred Valley athletes. Olympic Honours have come to many past members, and the Club’s President, Linford Christie OBE is the former Olympic, World, European and Commonwealth 100m Champion.
The Founding Years 1887- 1900
- 1887: TVH was founded under the name East Twickenham Harriers, and organised its first events, a 120 yards track race and a 5 mile road race.
- 1890: The club changed its name to Thames Valley Harriers. Successes for TVH cross country athletes include: Steve Cottrell (who had ‘TVH’ tattooed on his chest) who came 2nd in the Southern Championships 1893 and 1894, as well as 1st place English National Championships 1895. Percy Tiller came 2nd place Championships 1896, 3rd place English National Championships 1896.
TVH’s headquarters moved several times, from the King’s Head Hotel in Twickenham to the Boileau Arms’ in Barnes to Milford Arms in Isleworth for cross country season and latterly to Tulip Tree in Richmond. TVH continued to organise ‘handicap’ meetings at Richmond and hosted its first open meetings at Isleworth.
Early Twentieth Century 1901-1939
- 1908: White City Stadium was built for 1908 London Olympics and TVH organised a 22 mile race in post- Olympics running boom.
- 1912: TVH participated in its first inter-club track meeting at Stamford Bridge, and moved headquarters again to the Coach and Horses in Isleworth.
The team rebuilt post war, and formed the Juniors section for the first time.
- 1922: TVH competed in the first ever Middlesex cross country championships, placing 2nd in the team event.
- 1924: Charlie Smith began his long term as President of TVH.
- 1926: TVH won the Middlesex Championships for the first time.
- 1927: The club’s track and field team competed in Middlesex track league. Bert Nuti won the first of his 22 club titles on the track and country.
- 1928-29: The cross country team struggled until new winter headquarters were established at White Hart Hotel, Cranford.
- 1932: TVH’s Junior team win the Middlesex cross country.
- 1933: Les Phipps starts 25 years service as winter captain
- 1935: Athlete and coach Arthur Filkins establishes TVH’s first sprint squad
- 1936: First TVH Olympian, George Traynor competes in long jump alongside Jesse Owens.
- 1936: TVH’s Senior team win the Middlesex cross country.
- 1937: The club marks its 50th anniversary with the first TVH field events championship.
During the war years, the Junior competitions continued with TVH combining with Southall AC and Finchley Harriers. Most athletes had brief athletics careers prior to national service
After World War II 1945-1969
- 1945: The inaugural TVH road relays were held at Cranford.
- 1946: TVH started using Alperton track for the summer season
- 1946 to 1949: Alec Olney came to prominence as distance runner, competing at the 1948 London Olympics
- 1949: TVH’s U17 men won the English National Cross Country Championships, led by Ken Norris.
- 1951: TVH’s U20 men won the English National Cross Country Championships.
- 1952: M. Denley competed in the Javelin at the Helskinki Olympic Games.
- 1954: After completing national service, Ken Norris finished second in the international (world) cross country championships
- 1956: Ken Norris started the year at Sao Paulo New Year’s Eve race and competed n 10,000m at Melbourne Olympics. He also won the National Cross Country Championships. D. H. Segal also competed at the Melbourne Olympics, in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m.
- 1957 / 58: Ron Hopcroft set the club’s 50 miles and 100 miles records
- 1958: Peter Clark competed in the European Championships over 5000m and the Commonwealth Games over 3 miles.
- 1960: Four TVH athletes competed at the Rome Olympics – Mike Ellis, Don Seagal (200m, 4x100m Bronze), JS Omagbeni (4x100m, competing for Nigeria), and Mike Wiggs (1500m).
- 1963: Frank Horwill founded the British Miler’s Club.
- 1964: TVH’s Tokyo Olympians include A. Meakin (100m) and Mike Wiggs (5000m).
- 1965: Mike Wiggs set the current club 5000m record of 13:33.
- 1968: TVH’s Mexico Olympian Dick Steane competed in the 200m
- 1969: The club became a founder member of the British Athletics League.
TVH win the inaugural British Athletics League in 1971, and follow it up with a second victory the next year. The club also won the Southern 12 Stage road relay in 1971, 1974, 1975, and 1978 and the Middlesex Cross Country Senior Men’s team race 1974 to 1979 inclusive
- 1972: M. E. Reynolds competed at the Munich Olympics in both the 400m and the 4x400m relay, returning with a silver medal. Malcolm Thomas also won the National Cross Country Championships.
- 1975: Peter Browne sets current TVH 800m record of 1:46.43 when finishing 2nd behind Steve Ovett at the AAA’s championships.
- 1977-79: Following the decision to build clubhouse at West London Stadium. TVH members including Tony Taylor, Dave Huffer, Ron Hopcroft and Peter Browne set about raising funds. Lease signed, building work completed.
- 1980: Moscow Olympians from TVH include Steve Green (4x100m) and Rob Milne (4x400m).
- 1982: TVH were crowned the U17 English National Cross Country Champions
- 1984: Los Angeles Olympians from TVH include C. Mamaba, competing for Swaziland in the 100m, 200m.
- 1986: Linford Christie became TVH’s first athlete to win fist international medals, including gold in the European Indoors Championships 200m, gold at the European Championships 100m, and silver at the Commonwealth Games 100m, and 4x100m
- 1988: Linford Christie became a double Olympic medallist at the Seoul Olympics, in both the 100m and 4x100m.
- 1992: Linford Christie becomes TVH’s first Olympic Champion, winning gold at the Barcelona Olympics. TVH athlete Julian Golley competed in the triple jump. Suresh Turay also competed at the Barcelona Olympic Games, representing Sierra Leone in the 100m and 4x100m.
- 1993: Linford Christie won gold at the World Athletics Championships, and a silver in the relay, and he was also crowned BBC Sports Personality of the Year. The West London Stadium was renamed the Linford Christie Stadium. The TVH’s women’s team was formed.
- 1994: The men’s team won the British Athletics League and Cup double.
- 1993/94: Steve Charlton runs 10 miles in 61:31 and 10km in 36:48 aged 65 +
- 1996: TVH Olympians at the Atlanta Games included Linford Christie, Suresh Turay (Sierra Leone) in the 100m and 4x100m. Peter Browne was the Team GB manager.
The New Millennium 2000-2020
- 2004: The women’s team was promoted to the UK Women’s League.
- 2005: The track was re-laid, and the Linford Christie Stadium reopened
- 2009: TVH’s Toby Sandeman won the U23 European Championships over 200m.
A TVH team won the South of England Cross Country Relay Championships for three consecutive years (2010 and 2011 for the men, 2012 for the women).
- 2010: Phyllis Agbo became first female TVH athlete to compete at a Commonwealth Games. Phyllis competed in the heptathlon in Delhi.
- 2011: Ambwene Simukonda competed in the World Athletics Championships (400m, Malawi). Chris Smith became a GB mountain running international. Meanwhile TVH’s membership was expanded to athletes aged 9 or older.
- 2012: Ambwene Simukonda became TVH’s first female Olympian at the London 2012 Olympic Games, competing in the 400m for Malawi.
- 2013: The women’s team is promoted to the UK Women’s Athletics League Premier Division for the first time.
- 2014: Victor Ricardo dos Santos Soares set a new Portuguese national record for the 400m – 45.74 – competing at the European Championships. Zoey Clark competed in the Commonweath Games, representing Scotland in the 4x400m. Double victory for the Senior Men and Women for the first time at the Middlesex Cross Country Championships. This was also the inaugural county championships victory for the women’s cross country team.
- 2015: The women’s team are crowned champions of the UK Women’s Athletics League Premier Division.
- 2016: Lorraine Ugen represents Great Britain at the Olympic Games in the long jump. The women’s team win the European Champions Club Cup.
- 2017: Four TVH women compete at the 2017 World Championships – Tracy Barlow (GB), Zoey Clark (GB), Lorraine Ugen (GB), and Julia Ratcliffe (NZ). Zoey Clark takes silver in the 4x400m. Earlier she won gold at the British Championships. The men’s and women’s teams are both competing at premiership level, with the women winning the UK Women’s Athletics League Premier Division title. Jude Bright-Davies (U20) is ranked 1st for the triple jump in the UK for the third consecutive year.
- 2018: Five TVH women compete at the 2018 European Championships. Zoey Clark takes bronze in the 4x400m. Ricardo dos Santos sets a new Portuguese, and TVH, 400m record – 45.14 – on his way to the final at the 2018 European Championships. Mohamud Aadan runs 62:30 at the Cardiff Commonwealth half marathon.
- 2019: Chris McAlister tops the UK 400m hurdles rankings with a time of 49.18 and makes it to the semi-finals of the World Championships. The women’s team are UK Women’s Athletics League Premier Division Champions for the fourth time in five years.
- 2020: The coronavirus pandemic severely restricts training and competition. Amelia Strickler wins the British indoors title with a 17.97m lifetime best shot put. Tracy Barlow finishes third British athlete at the elite-only London Marathon. Mohamud Aadan and Ann Marie Mcglynn compete at world half marathon championships in Poland. Fifteen TVH athletes compete behind closed doors at the British Championships in September.