1960s

The Club had its first team success when winning the Laois Novice Cross-Country in Portarlington on 3rd January 1960. The team scorers were Mick Kelly lst, Charlie 0’Rourke 2nd, Bob Wall 7th and Andy Lambe 12th.

In the Track Season, the Club won the Leinster Express Cup, along with a number of individual successes from Mick Kelly, Arthur Broomfield, Ken Dunne and Seamus Reynolds.

In those early years Mick Kelly, Charlie O’Rourke and Mick Daly were the club’s representative on the Laois Cross-Country Team that competed in the Leinter Novice, Junior and Senior Cross-Country Championship.

In the late 1960s the Club moved to Broomfield’s in Clonreher. The Youths (U18) won the County Championships in Clonreher on the 18th January 1961. The scorers that day were Tom Brown 2nd, S. Kelly 3rd, Sean Whelan and Sean Culleton.

The Broomfield Family provided many facilities allowing the use of their Land for training and racing and giving their back kitchen as a meeting venue. Basil and Arthur were as much involved as the competitors, as well as officers of the Club.

Team successes were scarce throughout the 60s. The Youths team, made up of four Dunnes, won in 1963 and the Novices won their 2nd title in 1966.

60s_1_2 Above left: Mick Kelly who starred for the Club in the early years. Above right: The team that won the first County Intermediate title in 1968. Back row (from left) Sonnie Nolan, Tony Dunne, Pat Bowler, Ger Dunne, Charlie O’Rourke, Martin Daly, Tommy Finn and Liam KeIIy. Front row (from left) DonaI SculIy, Peter Dunne, NoeI ScuIly, Jimmy Finn, Denis O’Connor, Joe Delaney and Richie Finn.

1968 was a historic year when the Club won its first Intermediate title and the team was led home by Jimmy Finn 3rd, Joe Delaney 5th, ‘Pony’ Dunne, Sonny Nolan, Pat Bowler and Donal Scully.

A number of individual athletes starred throughout those years. Basil Broomfield won 3 Leinster Senior medals in 1966. It was in July of the following year that a Club athlete first won a National title when Jim Keating won the National Junior Javelin title. In 1968 Jim became the first Club member to compete for Ireland.

In 1968, after the formation of the B.L.E., a small Juvenile section was formed and in 1969, a Ladies section was formed. Jean Farrell and Noreen O’Connor being the first lady members. The late 60s and early 70s starred well when Pat Scully won his first Senior Cross-Country and won a Silver medal in the Leinster Novice in Tullamore. He went on to help Laois win Silver medals at Novice, Intermediate and Senior in Leinster.