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History - Noel Carroll


Noel Carroll, a native of the coastal village of Annagassan, just a few miles south of Dromiskin, was born on 7 December 1941. His illustrious athletics career began when he joined St Peter's AC as a 14-year-old in 1956. He remained with the club until 1959, when he transferred to the Dublin-based Civil Service club. This move coincided with Noel resigning from his position with St Mary's, Drumcar to join the Irish Army as a private. Subsequently he also competed for Villanova University in the United States.

Victorious St Peter's AC team at Louth Youths' Cross Country in 1957
Victorious St Peter's AC team at Louth Youths' Cross Country in 1957

Winning in Madison Square Garden, New York City
Winning in Madison Square Garden, New York City

            World record in the 4x880 yards relay
World record in the 4x880 yards relay

      Villanova's world record relay team
Villanova's world record relay team

Noel's many achievements as an athlete are summarised in the table below. His tragic death, while on his regular lunchtime training run, on 23 October 1998 at the age of 56 sent shockwaves through Irish society and the athletics community worldwide. Tributes to him appeared in several newspapers, ranging from The Argus, a weekly Dundalk newspaper, through respected London daily, The Independent, to what is probably the world's most famous newspaper, The New York Times.

Note: While Noel was competing witb St Peter's AC (from 1956 to 1958), Louth, Leinster and Irish Championships in which he competed were organised by the NACA. From 1959 to 1966 inclusive, Republic of Ireland Championships in which he competed were organised by the AAUÉ and Irish Championships were organised jointly by the AAUÉ and the NIAAA. From 1967 onwards Republic of Ireland Championships were organised by BLÉ.

Noel Carroll's athletics career
1956 Makes his debut for St Peter's AC, finishing 7th in a cross country race in Dowdallshill
1957 Member of winning St Peter's AC team in Louth Youths' Cross Country Championship in Ardee
1958 Member of winning St Peter's AC team in Louth Senior Cross Country Championship in Mountpleasant
Finishes 7th in Leinster Youths' Cross Country Championship in Nass, as Co. Louth wins team title
Represents Co. Louth in Irish Youths' Cross Country Championship
1959 Wins Republic of Ireland Youths' 880 yards title in Santry, Dublin (2:08.0)
1961 Finishes 2nd in 880 yards in Wales v Ireland v Scotland match in Cardiff, his senior international debut (1:53.6)
Member of Irish team which sets European record for 4x880 yards in USA (7:21.2)
Sets new championship best to win World Military 800m title in Brussels (1:50.1)
Wins Irish 880 yards title in Belfast (1:52.5)
Wins Republic of Ireland 440 yards (49.6) and 880 yards (1:56.0) titles in Santry, Dublin
1962 Finishes 3rd in heat of European 800m in Belgrade
1963 Sets European record for 880 yards in Compton, California (1:47.5)
Bronze medallist in NCAA 880 yards in New Mexico (1:48.4)
Wins AAA 880 yards title in White City, London (1:50.26)
Ranked 4th in the world at 800m by Track & Field News
1964 Described by Sports Illustrated as "one of the best middle-distance runners in the world"
Runs by far the fastest leg (1:46.9 4th leg) on Villanova University team which sets world record for 4x880 yards in Los Angeles (7:19.0)
Silver medallist in AAA 880 yards in White City, London (1:50.7)
Finishes 7th in semi-final of Olympic 800m in Tokyo (1:48.4)
1965 Awarded Athlete of the Meet at the Penn Relays
Silver medallist in NCAA 880 yards in California (1:48.9)
1966 Wins European Indoor 800m title in Dortmund (1:49.7)
Wins Republic of Ireland 440 yards title (48.2)
Wins Irish 880 yards title (1:52.8)
Wins AAA 880 yards title in White City, London (1:47.98)
Finishes 8th in European 800m in Budapest (1:47.9)
1967 Wins European Indoor 800m title in Prague (1:49.6)
Wins both 400m (47.3) and 800m (1:48.4) in Europa Cup match in Santry, Dublin - his fastest ever 400m at low altitude
Wins both 440 yards (48.0) and 880 yards (1:50.9) in Republic of Ireland Championships
Silver medallist in AAA 880 yards in White City, London (1:47.63)
1968 Wins European Indoor 800m title in Madrid (1:56.66)
Finishes 3rd in heat of European Indoor 400m in Madrid (48.7) - his fastest ever 400m indoors
Wins both 440 yards (48.4) and 880 yards (1:48.5) in Republic of Ireland Championships
Wins AAA 880 yards title in White City, London (1:50.02)
Runs his fastest ever 880 yards in Santry, Dublin (1:47.3)
Finishes 6th in heat of 400m (46.83) and 3rd in heat of 800m (1:49.0) at Olympic Games in Mexico City - his fastest ever 400m
1969 Bronze medallist in European Indoor 800m in Belgrade (1:47.6) - his fastest ever 800m indoors
Silver medallist in AAA 800m in White City, London (1:49.53)
Finishes 7th in European 800m in Athens (1:49.1)
1970 Runs his fastest ever 1500m (3:54.0)
1971 Bronze medallist in AAA Indoor 800m in Cosford (1:50.9)
Wins Republic of Ireland 800m title (1:50.3)
1973 Wins Republic of Ireland 800m title (1:51.1)
1974 Competes in his final senior international in Republic of Ireland v Portugal match in Belfield, Dublin
1977 Wins Republic of Ireland 800m title (1:52.35)
1980 Instrumental in launching the Dublin City Marathon
1982 Wins European Masters (Over 40) 800m title in Strasbourg (1:58.77)
1988 Silver medallist in European Masters (Over 45) 800m in Verona (2:02.36)