Champion Halifax runner returns to winning track after 50 years

Kevin Byrne, a former pupil at St Thomas More Catholic High Schoo, on the running track.
Kevin Byrne, a former pupil at St Thomas More Catholic High Schoo, on the running track.
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A school cross-country champion has been back on the track after fifty years to bid an emotional farewell to his former school.

Kevin Byrne, 66, recreated the final leg of a distance run as a tribute to former pupils and teachers of St Thomas More Catholic Secondary School in Halifax, many of whom have now passed away.

The school closed in a poignant farewell assembly in 2013, then known as St Catherine’s Catholic High School.

Mr Byrne said: “Coming back for the school’s last open day brought memories flooding back.

“I saw a young woman running on the track and longed to go out on the field like I did all those years ago.”

Mr Bryne was suffering from an injury at the time, but vowed to return on the fiftieth anniversary of his last day at the school.

He said: “There’s an energy that exists in schools, a real buzz from the pupils and teachers. It’s that vitality I wanted to recreate with this run.”

Mr Byrne, now of Nottingham, won a bronze medal for cross country in the interschools championship of 1964 and has continued to run distance races throughout his life.