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Founded in 1880, Cheltenham & County Harriers consisted of men in baggy clothes running through the countryside after bits of paper, as this was how cross country running took place at the time.

Paper chases were the main feature of athletics in Cheltenham at this time, with pubs in the town centre, Prestbury and Leckhampton regularly used as the start points for these runs. Over the years various training venues have been used, with the Leckhampton Inn a regular base from the 1920s until the 1950s.

The first recognisable kit from 1914 was a long sleeved shirt with red and black hoops, just like that worn by Cheltenham Rugby Club. After the First World War a white vest with a blue and red diamond on the chest was introduced, before the design changed again in 1925 to the white vest with two black hoops that is still worn today.

A Ladies section of the club was started in 1928, with the women not only participating in athletics, but also playing hockey and doing gymnastics as well. The ladies section later split from the main club, with the two clubs remaining separate until they rejoined in 1990. The Harriers are currently based at the Prince of Wales stadium, a venue that has been their permanent home since 1981.

More memories, photographs and stories about Harrier's history can be found on our social media pages:

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