Legacy in the Links – Path in Bruntsfield Links renamed to honour the legacy of ‘Chariots of Fire’ inspiration
Unveiled by Scottish International Rugby Player, Darcy Graham, The Eric Liddell Way opens 100 years on from the Scot’s historic gold medal at the 1924 Paris Olympics

In the centenary year of his record-breaking 400m gold medal win at the 1924 Paris Olympics, Eric Liddell was celebrated last week (Friday the 26th of April) by local Edinburgh communities as a pathway in Bruntsfield Links was renamed ‘The Eric Liddell Way’.

The unveiling was commemorated with a mass community participation event as part of The Eric Liddell 100 – a campaign initiated by The Eric Liddell Community to commemorate the remarkable life, sporting achievements, and community service contributions of this iconic Scottish figure. The Eric Liddell Way will not only serve as a way for an inspirational Scottish legacy to live on but will allow locals to walk in Eric Liddell’s footsteps as he would have used this path when walking to work, to church, and back to his home.

Unveiled by current Scotland winger, Darcy Graham, and partnering with Edinburgh City Council, local councillors, and neighbouring schools and businesses, the event boasted everything from a performance from the George Watson’s College pipe band to 100m and 400m races, and small-sided rugby games to honour the late Scottish sprinter and rugby player. Edinburgh’s much-loved family-run ice cream shop since 1908, S.Lucas, also donated free ice cream to all in attendance from their 101-year-old Rolls-Royce.

Eric Liddell won seven caps for Scotland in 1922 and 1923, losing only once, and scored back-to-back tries in four of his international caps as a winger. He was inducted into the Scottish Rugby Hall of Fame in 2022, to mark 100 years since his first international cap. 100 years on, Darcy Graham is on track to create Scottish sporting legacy of his own, with his 24 tries leaving him just three behind Stuart Hogg’s record of 27. Current winger, Darcy Graham, said: “It was an honour to come along and be a part of an amazing event, getting to unveil ‘The Eric Liddell Way’. Many won’t know that as well as his athletic heroics, Eric Liddell won seven caps for Scotland playing rugby. With small-sided rugby games taking place, and a 400m track set out for all to get involved in, we really did live life like Eric did – even just for a few hours. Eric is one of Scotland’s sporting greats, and it is important that we do our best to share his story and recognise his legacy.”

John MacMillan, CEO of The Eric Liddell Community expressed his delight about the renaming of the path, saying: “We are incredibly excited and proud to see that the local community have come together to celebrate Eric’s legacy as we continue to share his story 100 years on from his famous gold medal victory. The path being renamed is made even more special since it was a route that Eric often walked over 100 years ago and is so close to The Eric Liddell Community in Bruntsfield.”

This Eric Liddell 100 event was spearheaded by the local Councillor for the Morningside Constituency, Marie-Clair Munro. Councillor Marie-Clair Munro happily stated: “We knew that something special had to be done to commemorate the incredible achievements of Eric Liddell in such a historic year, and we wanted to bring together the local community in doing so. The path being renamed to ‘The Eric Liddell Way’ signifies a community effort to appreciate the achievements of Eric Liddell, build on his legacy, and showcase the values that he is still remembered by to this day.”

As part of this ceremony, 10-year-old Seb Jellema, and his younger brother Max Jellema – local pupils at South Morningside Primary – were recognised with The Eric Liddell 100 medals for their incredible achievements in running. Seb started his journey in 2023, as he aimed to run at least 3km every day of the year, raising money for charities such as Kids Love Clothes, and the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. His brother Max has this year embarked on his own running challenge. The brothers were identified by the local schools in attendance as children who have shown Eric Liddell’s values: passion, compassion, and integrity.

Mr Grant Gillies, Head Teacher at South Morningside Primary School enthusiastically spoke about Seb, Eric and the event saying: “South Morningside Primary is very proud to be part of this event; Eric Liddell’s legacy continues to inspire generations of students. One of our own pupils, Seb, embodies this spirit and has been in the news recently as he committed to running at least 3km every day. Rain or shine, Seb managed a year of running every day and has decided to continue, setting himself the goal of beating Ron Hill, the award-winning athlete by running every day until 2075! All goals start with small steps, and runners like Eric, Ron and Seb motivate us all to do whatever we can and achieve success. Whether it’s running its length or walking part of it on the way home from school, I hope we can all be inspired to get outside and make those small steps towards bigger goals.”

Tony Segall, Active Schools Coordinator for Edinburgh, said: “Active Schools Edinburgh is excited to be part of this event to honour the life and achievements of Eric Liddell. The aim of Active Schools is to get ‘More Children, More Active, More Often’ and therefore we are delighted to help celebrate Eric’s dedication to encouraging and inspiring young people to take part in sports.”

A successful day that brought the community together to celebrate a local hero, ‘The Eric Liddell Way’ serves as more than just the path that runs through Bruntsfield Links, it’s a source of inspiration for all to strive to do their best and live by the values that Eric Liddell embodied.