Another name from the past has been in touch with Sunderland Harriers following the club picture of 1963 featured in the Echo.

Allan Dodds, 73, who lives in San Diego in retirement, ironically like Ian Halliwell, who was featured in the previous article, emigrated to Canada and then to the States.

In the States he became State Professor of Plant Pathology at the University of California, being in the role for 30 years.

More Memories From The Americas.

Although he has not forgotten his Sunderland roots, spending eight weeks during the summer each year at his flat opposite the Cat and Dog Steps on Cliffe Road.

Dodds was another one of the Monkwearmouth Grammar School talented middle distance squad who earned County Schools selection for Durham on the track and over the country.

He regularly competed for Sunderland Harriers and dipped under two minutes for 880 yards as a schoolboy, which was no mean feat in those days of cinder tracks.

One of his biggest school boy rivals was Brendan Foster. He said: “We were in the lead pack in many a cross country or road race, the rivalry was fierce.

“A couple of years ago I enjoyed a day out at Gateshead Stadium watching the final day of the English Schools Championships. It was very nostalgic.’’

After leaving school Dodds became a Leeds University student and was elected captain of the cross country team in 1968 in his third year in a strong squad. They were a top three BUSF team during his four years in the team.

His serious running ended in his 40's, but before that he did manage to compete in a few marathons in just under 3hrs. That included the Boston Marathon, while he lived in Connecticut for several years before heading west to California where he has been since 1980.

“Once in New Haven, Connecticut, I joined the local "Sleeping Giant" Harriers (named after a local landmark hill/park where we trained) and got up to steady and serious mileage in my training.

“I ran local 10k road races, building up to marathons. I sometimes placed in my age group but never won a local 10k or shorter. This included the Newport, Rhode Island marathon, timed to dovetail as a good choice for qualification for Boston.

“My best time in that race was 2hrs 53min which got me under the 3hr mark for Boston entry as a 30-year-old, which I ran twice. Boston is not a race for a personal best and my times there were near but not under 3hrs.

“My first was on a really hot Spring day and like an idiot, I had brand new lightweight gold coloured Adidas race shoes (still got them as souvenirs) and thin socks. Both foot pads fully blistered, the left one burst at about 15 miles and the other at about 20 miles. But I still managed to finish.

“Mentally, I am still a runner, but knees, hips, and a predictable "out for two weeks" calf muscle twang anytime. I try to get going again but rule out any hope.

“I remain a true Wearsider, a proud son of SR6 and I follow the Lads. I attend a few games each year when I am over, my visits are timed to do so. I am the regional representative, San Diego, CA for the SAFC North American Supporters Association Sunderland AFC North American Supporters Association.