Praise for Westerlands founder Bill Sheridan – Westerlands Cross Country Club

Introduced by the Rt Hon. Big Al Campbell

our founder Bill Sheridan photographed last year

The Honourable William Sheridan (THWS, or Sir to his close friends) was elected as an honorary life member of Westerlands Cross Country Club at the annual general meeting of November 2000. THWS was born a long time ago and lived much of his early life in the mining village of Broomhill not far from the tripe factories of Hyndland. This unfortunate start in life was compounded by a grave error in his formative years when he went off with a strange man one dark night (despite his mother’s warnings) and was taken into a disused shed at Scotstoun showground; he emerged somewhat dishevelled some time later wearing a distinctive piece of blue and white upper underwear; this Vicky Park vest was securely fastened with eight 6 inch nails in the manner of those barbarians, but luckily by some basic lack of understanding of anatomy they were driven through his head, so no damage was done.

After a period of detention at the Gilmorehill Institution for the alcohol deprived THWS was set free on the understanding that he couldn’t help it. Some time later in 1977 he was approached in a bar somewhere in Glasgow by an individual with a dodgy moustache and curly hair (where are you now Sam?). This individual, after receiving a downright refusal to all his suggestions to THWS in the toilets (most of them anyway) said “well if that’s the way it’s going to be we’ll just start a running club instead!”.

From such sordid beginnings did the history of this noble and illustrious men’s club emerge and flourish for a while … then women joined.

THWS became a founder member of this august establishment and indeed held the office of dictator in chief for a number of years before handing over to your humble scribe the entire assets of the club: the club jockstrap and associated lending system, an IOU from Ian Struthers and an embezzled sinking fund. THWS was present at many early races, becoming rather a nuisance to his club-mates with his insistence in hanging on at the end to pick up his pots. His famous chariot, ail, was responsible for ferrying many of the more stalwart stalwarts about the country until it was given a version of the Shetland ‘up helly a’ treatment in the car park at Clober after being deposited there during a Glasgow – Fort Bill relay.

THWS ran many a fine race but his downfall as a runner can be traced to the last Saturday in September 1983 when his participation in the inaugural Two Breweries resulted in the unforeseen good luck of dalliance with the lady hunter. Mixing with the ne’er-do-wells by serving Greenmantle in Broughton village hall.

From that day on it was the beginning of he end for THWS. The love of the south called and although he tried to break it by leaving for Hong Kong he moved south to be nearer his lady. Unfortunately he was over-exuberant in moving south and was sent to Coventry but the bold boy made it back before Godiva got her claws in.

Nowadays the Honourable lives in Broughton with the lady Susan surrounded by his children and tennis balls. Every September for many years he organised the Two Breweries memorial race (to remember 1983) and hirpled through the dance afterwards. As far as is known he sits in his rocking chair puffing his pipe, baffies on the mantelpiece, thinking back on the old days when he won the 5000 metre race with 16 pints in the previous hour …

On a more serious note: Bill was a founding member of Westerlands and put a lot of effort into the starting of the club and was the star for the first ten years. Bill remains a member of the club despite having a crocked knee which prevents him running. He continued to support the sport by organising the Two Breweries and provides support at other races as well as a fine do after the Greenmantle Dash.

Three cheers for The Honourable William Sheridan:

hip hip ……………… ra
hip hip ……………… ra
hip hip ……………… ra

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