The earliest record of athletics in the Lisburn area is the organisation of an athletics meeting at the Bleach Green, Lambeg when athletes ran round a circular grass track.

The next is the promotion of an athletics meeting by Lisburn Cricket Club in 1869 when a sizeable attendance and high standards were recorded. However the cricket grounds took such a pounding from athletes and spectators alike that the effort was not repeated.

In 1883 members of Hertford Rugby Club formed an athletics club and held an athletics meeting. This “gala” occasion was well attended with many of the local businesses and dignitaries donating prizes. This club continued in existence until 1888 when it was forced to move outside Lisburn thus losing its local character.

1897 saw the formation of the Lisburn Harrier Club and the running of two races for club members – a two mile road race from Carnbane Hill to Market Square, and a three mile race in Wallace Park. Also in that year a special meeting to mark the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria was held which also included cycling and walking races. The club competed in black and white and performed with credit until 1909 when many of the athletes were invited to join Belfast clubs and it became defunct.

There are very few records of athletics in Lisburn from 1909 to 1932 when Lisnagarvey Harrier Club was formed under the chairmanship of Mr Arthur Bowman. It was in this year that the Northern Ireland Athletics Association (N.I.A.A.A) was formed and this body became the governing body for athletics in Northern Ireland.

The Club has had peaks and troughs in the post war years however was pre-eminent as one of the strongest clubs on the island of Ireland in the 1980’s and 1990’s where teams regularly competed in the UK GRE Cup as well as the Irish league and the European Clubs Cup where the silver vests with red and green piping were often visible. The club’s logo, a phoenix rising for the flames, is due to the club’s Lisnagarvey roots.

The club produced a long tradition of junior and senior international athletes from its base at the Lisburn Leisure Centre gravel track, with several going on win selection for the Commonwealth Games and even the Olympic Games. A number of medals were won by Lisburn athletes at senior Commonwealth level and in recent years at the major junior (under 20) and youth (under 18) international championships.

Lisburn AC hosted some cross country and track and field races from its base at the Leisure Centre, however these did not become regular events. The Wallace Park Relays have spanned two centuries with the annual event usually held in early October as an early season pipe opener for the Winter season. In 2004 the club hosted the successful Moira Demesne Cross Country which has continued every year since in early January.

The club was renamed City of Lisburn AC in 2002 when Lisburn was awarded City Status as part of Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee celebrations with the club now training out of Mary Peters Track and Lagan Valley Leisureplex.

The club committee continue to look for resources to action the 2007 ‘Track Development Plan’ which outlined a strategy for the club to re-establish a base in the city at a newly developed track. (Copies of the plan are available upon request)