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|Nationality||United Kingdom (GB)|
Even Jose Mourinho would have been impressed by the performance of one Glasgow Accies’ finest when a certain Robert Stronach won the British 120 yds Hurdles Championship at Stamford Bridge in 1905
Stronach was one of that rare breed who represented their country at more than one sport. Playing as a flank forward he was capped for Scotland at rugby on five occasions between 1901 and 1905 the last being a win over England at Richmond. However it was at athletics that he really made history winning the British 120yds title three years in a row from 1904 to 1906.
In 1905 the British Championships took place at Stamford Bridge. It was officially opened in 1877. For the first 28 years of its existence it was used almost exclusively by the London Athletic Club as an arena for athletics meetings and not at all for football. In 1904 the ground was acquired by Gus and his brother, J T Mears, who had previously acquired additional lan The Mears family remained the owners of the ground (and subsequently the Club) until the 1970s.
Stronach could even have retained the title in 1907 but fell at the last hurdle and even managed to pick himself up and take third.
In July 1905 he set a Scottish record of 15.8 secs on grass at Ibrox a record that was to stand for forty three years.
He had first come to prominence in 1900 by winning the Scottish 120yards Hurdles title and finishing second in the International match against Ireland at Cliftonville. From that point Stronach was undefeated in Scottish and international competitions, with the exception of 1902 and 1903 he won the Scottish title every year and`he`also won the International event against Ireland on each occasion. He improved the Championship record to 16.0 sec in 1905.
To get some measure of these performances this time was identical to the winning time in the Olympic 110 metres hurdles at St Louis in 1904.
He did not compete after 1907 and emigrated to Canada in 1908 to pursue a career in civil engineering.