Winner of Grocers’ Assistants Bicycle Race cheated

Published: 22 August 1913

Ernest Ryan, described as a shop assistant, and with an address at Euston Road, London, was charged with having obtained, by false pretences, a gold watch valued at £10, from the committee of the Grocers’ Sports Day. The annual sporting day for grocers’ assistants was staged recently at Jones’ Road. The organising committee had received an entry form from a James Guinan of Fethard, Co. Tipperary, who wished to compete in the five mile cycle race. Checks were made and it was confirmed that a Guinan from Fethard existed and was eligible to take part. The handicapper gave Guinan a 450 metre head start on the lead racer as there was no record that he had competed previously.

It has since emerged that the accused man, Ryan, who won the race easily and is a highly competent cycle racer, had used Guinan’s identity as a way of being able to enter the race and deceive the handicapper as to his true abilities. The organising committee, once they realised that Ryan had not only cheated but had criminally deceived them, informed the authorities and the man was arrested.

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