Hugh’s on track to carry Queen’s Baton in relay

Hugh Barrow
Hugh Barrow

A sporting legend from Milngavie has been chosen to carry The Queen’s Baton as it makes its journey across Scotland.

Hugh Barrow (69) was nominated for the honour to mark his long career in athletics and rugby.

He is also a former director of leisure and cultural services at East Dunbartonshire Council.

Hugh’s interest in sport started in the 1950s when the All Blacks played at Anniesland.

He took up rugby but quickly recognised that his options were limited in the sport because of his lanky frame - at 6ft tall weighing nine and a half stone he says he didn’t have a lot going for him!

He decided to try something else and went along to Victoria Park AAC, one of the althetics powerhouses in Britain at the time, and quickly started breaking barriers and blazing trails in his own unique way.

Hugh set a world age-group record for the mile of 4 minutes 10.9 secs at Santry Stadium in Dublin in 1961.

He also ran in front of 130,000 fans at Hampden park in 1962 as the prelude to Scotland beating England 2-0, with Davie Wilson and Eric Caldow scoring the goals.

And while he wanted to be the first Scotsman to break the four minute mile he sadly failed - by only one second.

Hugh said: “It was my burning ambition to break that record but unfortunately it didn’t happen for me.

“I ran with Victoria Park for years after and at times I trained seven days a week, and twice a day if we had the chance.

“Over the years I was lucky enough to race in the company of Lachie Stewart, Ian Stewart and Ian McCafferty and when the Commonweakth games came to Edinburgh in 1970, it was a high water mark. It got the whole country feeling good about itself and it can do the same this year in Glasgow.”

Hugh was president of the Glasgow Accies for a year, secretary of West of Scotland Rugby Club for four years in the mid 90s and secretary of Glasgow Hawks from 1997 to 2007 - during that time they won the Scottish Championship three years in a row - the first time a club in Glasgow had done that in 80 years.

Hugh said: “I have absolutely no doubt that the 2014 Games have the ability to be a massive influence for good in Scotland and clubs such as Hawks and Victoria Park need to get in at the ground floor, because the influence can filter down from the top to the grassroots. in every pursuit.

“The Games will prove that when it comes to hosting a party, nowhere is better than Glasgow.”