HELENSBURGH NEWS 29 MAY 1884
A PICTURE OF TROPHIES – We have just been shown a beautiful photograph, executed in the most artistic style by Mr John Stuart, of Helensburgh, of a valuable and varied collection of cups, medals, bronzes, inkstands, tankards, clocks, timepieces, writing-desks, etc, which have been won by the two sons of Mr Vallance, the late surveyor on the roads.
The collection, which is of a varied description, is neatly arranged on a large stand running from the floor to a height of about seven feet and comprising in all seven shelves, on which the prizes, to the number of between fifty and sixty, are displayed to the best possible advantage. Although some of the prizes have been gained in nearly all the various branches of athletics, the majority have been carried off in hurdle-racing and broad jumping, in which two competitions Tom excelled.
In the latter competition, when at his best, Tom had few, if any, his equal this side of the border, and his best performance, which was at the sports of the Queen’s Park Football Club in September, 1881, still stands unrivaled, doing the splendid distance of 21 feet 11 inches, which has never been equaled in Scotland. His most successful day was at the Rangers’Football Club sports, in the same year, when he lifted no fewer than four first prizes – the broad jump, with a distance of 21 feet 6 inches; the hurdle race, obstacle race, and single-handed tug-of-war.
Besides his ability as an athlete, Tom was selected on no less than four occasions to represent Scotland in the annual International Football Match between England and Scotland, a post which he filled with credit to himself, as well as his country. Alick, although considerably younger than his brother Tom, has, however, along with him been very successful as an athlete, and at times has beaten some of the very best men. He has never gained international honours in football, but, had he continued playing, there is little doubt but such an honour was in store for him.