The Story of the Event
Although the discus was one of the disciplines in the pentathlon of ancient Greek athletics, most famously depicted on the Diskobolos (Discus-Thrower) statue found on the 1948 Olympic poster, and on which the nineteenth century sport placed so much focus – see the inscriptions on the men’s 400m and 110 hurdles trophies – the event was not contested at AAA championships until 1914. By then it had appeared in three Olympic Games under American domination and using a method not sanctioned by British competitors such as George Robertson, who wrote an entertaining rant on the subject in the Official Handbook to the Olympic Games of 1908. When discus did appear on the AAA programme, along with javelin and triple jump, it was on probation, since the Championship Committee noted that it would only continue as long as it was on the Olympic programme.
As was the case with other field events, overseas visitors dominated the AAA championships until the mid-twentieth century, with only one British victor claiming the title before the first of Mark Pharoah’s four victories which came in 1952. Early winners include Finnish athletes Armas Taipale, who took gold and silver in successive Olympics either side of World War I, and Vilho Nittymaa, 1924 Olympic silver medallist. Italian athlete Giuseppi Tosi won this trophy in 1951, having taken Olympic silver in 1948. Following this Olympic trend, 1979 AAA champion John Powell won Olympic bronze in 1984.
Home success was assured during the ‘60s and ‘70s by Bill Tancred, who won seven titles and whose British record was only beaten in 2012, and in the ‘80s and ‘90s by Bob Weir, who would eventually win 9 national discus titles and 13 medals overall. Both continued their outstanding contribution to athletics; Tancred went on to become a Professor and director of Physical Education and Sport at Sheffield University, and Professor of Sport Studies at Buckinghamshire Chiltern University College from which he retired in 2001. His research and development into sports education has been far-reaching. Weir, Commonwealth champion in 1998, went on to become a successful international coach.
Herbert Pash was an enthusiastic athlete at the turn of the twentieth century, who continued his commitment to the sport through administration until the 1930s. A member of Blackheath Harriers, he competed in distances from sprints up to 5 miles in club championships. In the London Athletic Club Championships of 1899 he finished 2nd in the 600 yards, a position he matched the following year in the 880 yards. In the following year, he was second in the Essex championships over 2 laps.
A private secretary by profession, Pash became influential in the administration of the sport, being created a Vice-President of the AAA at the end of the First World War, a position that was confirmed for life in 1934, as well as a trustee for the Association. He was responsible for writing a Jubilee Souvenir book in 1930, marking 80 years of the AAA. In 1935 he became President of the London Athletic Club.
The full inscription on the trophy reads:
The “Herbert F. Pash Memorial” Memorial Trophy
awarded annually for the
A.A.A. Discus Championship
THE AMATEUR ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION
his long years of service
in the cause of
Life Vice-President of the Association
Chairman of General Committee
History of the Trophy
AAA champions in the discus received this trophy from 1949 to 1995 for the event first contested in 1914. Since 2010 the trophy has been presented to the winner of the English Senior Championships Discus.
|1949 F. KLICS||1966 W.R. TANCRED||1981. J. POWELL (USA)|
|1950 R. KINTZIGER||1967 W.R. TANCRED||1982. B. COOPER|
|1951 G. TOSI||1968 W.R. TANCRED||1983. R. WEIR|
|1952 M. PHAROAH||1969 W. TANCRED||1984. R. WEIR|
|1953 M. PHAROAH||1970 W. TANCRED||1985. J. MARTINEZ|
|1954 F. KLICS||1971 L. MILLS||1986. R. SLANEY|
|1955 M. PHAROAH||1972 W. TANCRED||1987. P. MARDLE|
|1956 M. PHAROAH||1973 W. TANCRED||1988. P. MARDLE|
|1957 M.R. LINDSAY||1974 J. POWELL (U.S.A)||1989 PAUL MARDLE|
|1958 S.J. du PLESSIS||1975 J. VAN REENEN||1990 ABI EKOKU|
|1959 M.R. LINDSAY||1976 J. POWELL||1991 WETNER REITERER|
|1960 M.R. LINDSAY||1977. P.A. TANCRED||1992 WERNER REITERER|
|1961 E. MALAN||1978. P.A. TANCRED||1993 ROBERT WEIR|
|1962 L.J. SILVESTER||1979. J. POWELL (USA)||1994 K. BROWN|
|1963 D.WEILL||1980. B. OLDFIELD (USA)||1995 NICK SWEENEY|
|1964 R. HOLLINGSWORTH|
|1965 L.E. HAGLUND|
|2010 E. UDECHUKU||2013 B. Morse||2016 G. Thompson|
|2011 A. Buhari||2014 Z. Duquemin||2017 A. Toward|
|2012 A. Buhari||2015 Z. Duquemin||2018 G. Armstrong|
|2019 N. Percy|
*N.B. Names are as recorded on the trophy and are not always as recorded elsewhere.