Telford takes place in hall of fame

A WORLD famous long distance runner originally from Hawick was inducted to the Scottish Borders Sporting Hall of Fame on Saturday night.

Max Telford has been described as the world’s greatest marathon runner and is in the Guinness Books of World Records for running the infamous Death Valley desert in California.

Although after a spell in the local knitwear industry working at Turner & Rutherfords, Max left Scotland in 1959 before running his way into a host of other record books throughout a thirty year career in the sport in New Zealand, and then 20 years in the USA - and was back on home turf to accept this accolade as a former Hawick man.

Having flown over specially from ‘home’ in the Philippines to attend the James McLean Trust Sports Awards in Kelso’s Cross Keys – despite having previously arrived in November for the ceremony which was cancelled due to bad weather – the leading athletics coach said afterwards: “I have received many awards during my career, but to be honest this one was special, because it came from my ‘aine folk’. I feel very honoured to be in Hall of Fame with so many great and famous people.”

The former Hawick High School pupil and Hawick Trades player, whose brothers Barry and Jim and their families still live in the town, added: “During my running career I was called New Zealander Max Telford, but I always corrected them in saying ‘I am not a Kiwi, but a Teri from Hawick.”

Also flying the flag for Hawick on Saturday night was Susie Elliot, who was presented with a Sports Ambassador Award for her tireless work with the Riding for the Disabled (RDA) for over four decades.

The Minto resident is currently the chairman of the Borders Group and for the last 16 years has worked to raise over £1million to build facilities enabling disabled children and adults to benefit from riding and equestrian vaulting as a therapy sport. Dedicated Susie is also a trustee on the national RDA Board and a trustee for Scotland, and as a ‘holiday’ job took on Athlete Support for the Australian disabled dressage team at the Paralympics. Passionate about the work of the RDA, Susie admitted: “Once involved with this charity, it is very difficult to stop.”

Indeed, she is also Head of the Hospitality Team every year at the RDA National Dressage Competition at Hartpury - the biggest disabled dressage event in the world.

Her hard work, enthusiasm and commitment to Riding for the Disabled were also recognised in 2000 when she was awarded the MBE.