A.S. Turk Memorial Trophy for A.A.A. Junior Long Jump Championship

By Dr Jane Ainsworth

The Story of the Event

Long jump has been ever-present on the Amateur Athletics Association Championship programme since 1880. In addition, the running long jump appeared in its precursor, the Amateur Athletic Club Championships, from 1866.

The first international representative in England’s matches with Wales and Ireland in Dublin was Charles Lockton, winner of the first AAA title in 1880. Rules and regulations at the time reveal some differences to today’s competition; instead of a strip of plasticine, a trench of 7 cm depth was dug out behind the take-off line, and anyone making a mark with anything other than their feet recorded a no-jump.

Silver athletics trophy. Wide shallow bowl with scrolled handles, engraved with the words A.S Turk Memorial Trophy AAA Junior Long Jump Championship
Photo credit: Ruth Brennan

Irish athletes dominated the early AAA championships, often competing successfully in long and high jump, which had similar techniques at the time. Peter O’Connor, who won silver in the 1906 ‘Inter-Calendary’ Olympic Games held in Athens, won six consecutive AAA titles in the first years of the twentieth century, with Percy Kirwan a champion on three successive occasions from 1910. Other notable champions include German athlete Luz Long in 1937, the year after his legendary duel with his great friend Jesse Owens, and Australian athlete Theo Bruce who followed his victory at the AAA championships with a silver medal in the 1948 Olympic Games in London. Finnish athlete Jorma Valkama, the 1962 AAA champion had taken bronze in the Melbourne Olympics of 1956.

From 1964, the event was dominated by one of the greatest figures in British athletics, Lynn Davies. Winning the AAA championship five times, and gold in the Olympic stadium in Tokyo in 1964 with a distance of 8.07m. Davies set 17 British and Commonwealth records, and was the first athlete to hold Olympic, European, and Commonwealth titles simultaneously. His British record of 8.23m stood for 23 years. Another name appearing on the trophy may be more recognisable from the decathlon; Daley Thompson won the AAA long jump championship 1977. 

American athlete Mike Powell won the 1987 AAA championship with a distance more than a metre below his personal best. While on first look this might seem disappointing, when we consider that Powell’s PB is in fact the world record which has stood since 1991, it gives us some perspective.

The Donor

Arthur Turk was a keen runner at events up to the mile at the end of the nineteenth century; in the twentieth he played a key role in the administration of athletics. In 1948 he was the recipient of the AAA Award of Honour. A member of the London Athletic Club and Walthamstow Harriers, Turk was a frequent competitor for the Civil Service where he represented the Post Office, for Essex, and at AAA championships. He was Essex champion at the 440 yards in 1891, moving up to become Civil Service champion in the mile in 1895.

After the First World War, Turk appeared increasingly as an athletics administrator. He was Vice President of the Southern AAA from 1918, made a life appointment in 1934, chairman of the Counties’ Athletic Union in 1926, and became Chair of the AAA General Committee in 1946. Ironically, the donor of the long jump was one of the men responsible for sending no field event athletes to the 1932 Olympics in Los Angeles, at which he was the team manager. Turk considered it important to mentor others in the skills he had developed and lectured for many years on team management at the Loughborough training camps.

History of the Trophy

The A.S. Turk Memorial Trophy was awarded to winners of the AAA Junior Long Jump championship from 1960-1983. When the AAA trophies were first awarded to the winners of the England Senior Championships in 2010, the trophy previously used for the Senior Long Jump was not available, thus this trophy has been awarded to winners ever since. Roy Mitchell is the only winner of the trophy as a junior to go on to win a senior title.

Previous Winners*

1960  A.C. DAVIES1967  J.A. GRAY.1975 C. CRONIN
 1968  C. HIGNETT.1976 L. TYSON
1962  G.E. BEALES.1970  K.S. ATKINS1978 C. MITCHELL
1964. W.ADAMS.1972 S.J. WRIGHT1980 T. SINCLAIR
1965. H.C. ROBERTSON.1973 T.G. PAICE1981 H. WHYTE
1966  C. O’NEILL.1974 R. MITCHELL1982 G. PULLEN
  1983 F. ABEJIDE
2010 JJ JEGEDE2013 C. Tomlinson2016 D. Gardiner
2011 JJ Jegede2014 JJ Jegede2017 J. Roach
2012 O. Newport2015 D. Morson2018 R. Banigo
  2019 D. Bramble

*N.B. Names are as recorded on the trophy and are not always as recorded elsewhere.  As indicated earlier, the winners recorded from 1960-1983 competed in the junior men’s long jump competition.  The trophy has been awarded to winners of the senior competition since 2010.