Proud moment as history repeats itself at Stanmore Park

James Puxley wins at Stanmore Park
James Puxley wins at Stanmore Park

It was a proud moment for grandfather Bryan Hughes at the South of England Cross Country Championships at Stanmore Park on Saturday.

More than half-a-century ago Bryan represented Lewes Grammer School and powered through the snow on his way to victory in the Sussex Schools Cross Country Senior Boys Championships in January 1963.

Almost 52 years later to very the day, Byran’s grandson James Puxty, who lives in Lewes but runs for Tunbridge Athletic Club and attends Skinners School in Tunbridge Wells, repeated the remarkable feat. James, 15, triumphed in the under-15 South of England Cross Country Championships as he showed the field a clean pair of heels in the January sunshine to complete the 4,500m course in a time of 15 minutes and four seconds.

It’s been an impressive season for James who recently took first place in the Kent Cross Country Championships.

Victory at Stanmore Park ensured qualification for the National Championships where James will compete alongside the top runners in the country at Parliament Hill Fields on February 21.

Grandad Bryan, 70, said: “It was a very emotional and a very proud moment. I knew he had a good chance of winning as he had just won the Kent.

“But when I saw him emerge from the trees in the lead with 200 yards to go, it was just fantastic.

“It brought back memories of when I competed and won at Stanmore Park - The finishing straight was still the same.

“He (James) told me he was determined to win as he knew that I did the same years ago.”

James’ sporting background doesn’t just end with his grandfather.

His mother, and Bryan’s daughter, Catherine was the captain of the athletics club at Liverpool University and went on to represent Great Britain in the World Championships at Triathlon.

Stephanie Puxty, Bryan’s granddaughter, also ran on Saturday and finished 34th in the under-13 girls’ race.

Bryan added, “Sport and running always seems to have been part of the family. James and Stephanie seem to be continuing nicely along that track.”