HE HAD already won the event three months earlier, but when Joe Patton stormed over the Hampshire cross-country finish lane at Southampton Sports Centre, he was a happy man.

After Chris Bunyan had set the early pace on February 2, 1980, Patton, Roger Brown and Neil Coupland opened up a gap on the rest of the field.

Patton broke away after four miles on the on the toughest part of the seven-mile, four-lap course.