The Liddiard Trophy
The 75th Liddiard Trophy is done, and the results are in.
Congratulations to our individual race winners:
Seyfu Jamaal - Men's - 25:34 - representing London Heathside.
Katie Olding - Women's - 30:51 - representing Thames Valley Harriers.
Massive respect to Serpentine for winning both team events, taking home the Liddiard Trophy and the inaugrual Tricia O'Connor Cup.
- Full Juniors results are available here.
- Race reports from Rich, Roma & Jamie
See you back next year!
The Liddiard Trophy is a prestigious and historic cross country fixture hosted annually by Queens Park Harriers at Fryent Country Park in Kingsbury.
Clubs from all over London compete for the famous prize which commemorates Mr E.J. Liddiard (pictured), the longest-surviving founder member of the club.
He was one of a group of pupils at St Jude's Institute who decided to create a sports club involving athletics and football among other activities (The footballers, incidentally, would end up breaking away and merging with Christ Church Rangers to form the modern-day Queens Park Rangers).
He was with the club up until his death in 1946.
In his honour, the Hoops held the inaugural Liddiard Trophy meet in 1947. The race was won by Shaftesbury Harriers (later becoming Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers).
This club which would go on to have a storied history with the event, winning it several times in the 1970s and 1980s, fielding teams littered with internationals.
At its height, the meet attracted around 300 competitors and in recent years the event has grown in popularity once more with the 2023 event having 207 seniors finishing the course covering 19 different clubs.
The Men's TROPHY
The Liddiard is a team event which has arguably one of the most eye-catching prizes in UK athletics, a solid silver depiction of a runner, complete in casing. The trophy has been awarded to the winning team since the race’s inception.
The Women's TROPHY
AKA The Tricia O'Connor Cup
For many years women have been invited to take part, initially running a different route and distance until 2019 when the club pushed towards a ‘Run Equal’ philosophy. Since then, women and men have started together and run the same course and distance.
Whilst the winning women’s team had been given medals in the intervening years, it wasn’t until 2023 - the 75th running of the event - that the long overdue women’s trophy was created.
Sitting president Emma Sutherland said at the time:
“I'd like to take this opportunity to apologise for the fact that we haven't had a women's trophy before now.
It turns out that it's quite hard to find a good trophy, but we settled on this vintage one with sustainability and elegance in mind. Although this will still be the women's Liddiard, we'd like to give the trophy a name.
We thought long and hard and wanted to honour someone who has been a big part of this fixture. Someone who puts in a lot of work behind the scenes, is a long time supporter of the event (for 30+ years) and has put up with Bill [O’Connor]'s running exploits (for many more).
On behalf of the club I'd like to present the Tricia O'Connor Cup”
In its inaugural year, the Serpentine team of Katy Casterton, Holly Woodhead, Emma Dettwiller and Sophie Flanagan won the event.
As well as being a senior event, juniors also run the course, the event now being part of the North West London Young Athletes Cross Country League. Runners as young as 8 run progressively longer courses all in the cross country spirit of the seniors event.
Alongside the senior’s event, the juniors has grown in popularity in the 2020’s, with the 2023 event attracting 237 runners - more than the seniors event.
While victory is the goal for some, the race itself is a reminder of the selflessness of the running community.
Take Cecil Gittins, a man who joined Queen's Park Harriers in the same year of Liddiard’s death, 1946. Up until his passing in 2014, he was still an active member of club, attending committee meetings and keeping the Hoops moving along whilst also serving on the Middlesex County Committee and as the Chairman of the Race Walking Association.
Similarly, Peter Hunt, another Liddiard contemporary, who helped to rescue Queen’s Park Harriers from folding essentially on his own in the early 1970s came down every year from his current home in south Wales to oversee the Liddiard to ensure its smooth running until the early 2020’s.
And, of course Bill and Tricia O’Connor who have been an integral part of the club as a whole since the 1980’s, and a big part of the organising committee of the Liddiard.