The Amateur Athletic Association, founded in 1880 during a meeting at the Randolph Hotel in Oxford, was for many years the world’s most influential governing body for track and field competition. It was the AAA which established the rules and ethos of the sport.
In this official history of the AAA, Mel Watman – who attended his first AAA Championships 60 years ago – brings to life the personalities and events which shaped athletics from its Victorian origins to the present day. Highlights of each of the prestigious AAA Championships from 1880 onwards are included in this sumptuously illustrated book.
All the great names of British athletics are featured, from the 19th century’s most phenomenal runner Walter George through to more modern legends such as Dave Bedford, Seb Coe, Steve Ovett, Linford Christie and Jonathan Edwards. There is also a wealth of fascinating trivia. One of the AAA’s Presidents was the judge at Dr Crippen’s trial; another climbed the Matterhorn and swam across Niagara. Competitors at the AAA Championships have included a Nobel Peace Prize winner, a best-selling novelist, a man who took part in The Great Escape of movie fame, and a leader of the Liberal Democrat party. Exhaustive lists of champions in all age groups and other compilations round off a volume which is effectively a history of British men’s athletics and represents the AAA’s legacy for future generations of athletes.
The first official history of the AAA was written by Peter Lovesey and published in 1980.