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Celebrity Drawings by John Moss

Greater Manchester Sports & Olympic

Alfred Edward Tysoe

Salford Harriers:
Olympic Middle Distance Runner

Alfred Tysoe, Salford harriers Olympic Runner

Alfred Edward Tysoe has
been described s “the greatest Salford Harrier of them all”.
Born at Skerton, near Lancaster, Tysoe ran part-time with the
Skerton Harriers running team, while still working as a farm
labourer. In 1896 he won the Northern Counties 1000 yards and
the one mile titles. His running successes brought him to the
attention of Harold Hardwick, founder of Salford Harriers in
1884, and in 1897 Tysoe was persuaded to join the Salford team.
Within his first year with Salford Harriers, he had achieved
the Amateur Athletics Association championships in one mile
and ten miles. In 1898 he helped the team to win their sixth
National Cross Country championship. He acquired numerous other
notable wins, including the 800 yards in the “Paris International
Championships” in July 1900 – the forerunner of the modern Olympic
Games. Just two weeks before those games he had broken the world
record by running the 800 yards in 1 minute and 57.8 seconds.
In the 1900 games he also won a gold medal as part of the 5000
metres team race. This proved to be his last season on the running
track, as in early 1901 he became severely ill with pleurisy.
Nursed by his father at his home in Blackpool, Alfred Tysoe
tragically died on the 26th of October 1901, aged twenty-seven.
(Source: James W Bancroft Archive).

Jackie Brown

World Flyweight Champion Boxer

Jackie Brown, World Flyweight Champion Boxer

Jackie Brown was born into a poor family in Collyhurst,
Manchester in 1910. During his career he was to win the World
Flyweight Boxing Championship, as well as British and European
Titles, all of which he lost in 1935 to the Scotsman, Benny
Lynch. Brown amassed a small fortune during his short career
– all of which he spent on fast living, clothes, parties, cars
and women. During World War Two, he became a physical training
instructor, but after all the fame and fortune, in obscurity
he coped very badly, and was imprisoned for assault on a four
month hard labour charge in Strangeways Gaol. This brought some
renewed distinction, as his case was defended by Edgar Lustgarten,
later to be a celebrated radio and television personality in
the field of criminology.
Brown spent the last years of his life, from 1968 to 1971, in
hospital at Crumpsall (now the North Manchester General Hospital),
where he died at the age of 61. (Source: James W Bancroft Archive).

George Wilkinson

Olympic Water Polo

George Wilkinson, Water Polo Champion

A pioneer of British Water Polo, at a time when only the British
really played the game, George Wilkinson is regarded as the
world’s first great water polo player. He was born in the Gorton
district of Manchester on 3rd March 1879, where from an early
age he demonstrated that he was a keen and enthusiastic swimmer
at his local Gorton Baths.
Although a top class swimmer, he never won any straight swimming
championships outright, but could only achieve runner-up in
the Amateur Swimming Association’s championships. At the age
of 15, Wilkinson took up Water Polo, and was playing in the
third division of the Manchester League when he was spotted
and invited to join the Hyde Seal team in a friendly match against
the local champion Osbourne Swimming Club.
His role was fundamental in the first defeat of Osbourne in
seven years, and as a result he was recruited for the national
Olympic Team by John Derbyshire, superintendent of Osbourne
Street baths, and a powerful figure in Manchester swimming organisation.
Wilkinson was a powerful and versatile player who played in
left-forward position. His shooting accuracy was legend, as
was his strong two-handed power drive and his speciality backhand

Soon after the 1900 Olympic Games, Wilkinson
moved to live in Hyde, and continued playing for the Hyde Seal
Club at its home base in the Union Street Baths. He was captain
of this team for some 22 years, achieving many top awards for
himself and the team. These included 22 Northern Championship
wins and 9 National Championships. Hyde Seal were also World
Champions for 3 successive seasons under his captaincy. He captained
both the Lancashire and Cheshire County Teams, gaining 24 English
caps between 1900 and 1922. He personally gained a second Olympic
Championship Medal in 1908, and captained the winning British
Team at the Stockholm Olympics in 1912. In 1925, now aged 46
and virtually retired from active participation, he was award
a large purse and Testimonial Award, to which over a thousand
local supporters had contributed.
On retirement, he became a licenced publican, and, with his
wife ran various Manchester pubs, including “The Sportsman”
in Hyde, “The Hen & Chickens” on Deansgate, “The Mess House”
in Oldham and “The Wheatsheaf” in Hyde, where he remained until
his death. His son, Harry, was to follow in his father’s footsteps,
and also became a Hyde Seal Player. After his health began to
fail, George died, aged 77 on 7th August 1946, and is buried
in Gorton Cemetery. A memorial to his memory also honours him
in the Swimming Hall of Fame at Fort Lauderdale, Florida in
the United States of America. (Source: James W Bancroft Archive).

Emil Robert Voigt

Long Distance Olympic Running

Emil Voigt

Emil Robert Voigt won the gold medal in the five-mile race for
England in the 1908 London Olympic Games at the new White City
Stadium at Shepherds Bush. This was an astounding feat as Emil
not only ran with a badly injured foot, but also he had never
competed at that distance before nor against internationals,
he had been training for half mile and one mile events. In the
Olympic heats the arch of his foot had collapsed due to torn
muscles but determined to contest the finals he had a special
arch support built into his sandshoe overnight. He ended up
winning the finals by an amazing 70 yards and to date is still
the only Olympic gold medal distance runner England has ever
Born in Manchester on 31 January 1883, the son of Emil Voigt
senior, a German-born mantles salesman. Emil took up running
after he left school at the age of 14. He joined Slade Harriers
Club in 1897 and competed in cross-country events with them
for 8 years before joining the Manchester Athletic Club. He
went abroad for a year as a correspondent for the Manchester
Guardian based in Italy (1905-1906) and did not do any running
while there, then when he returned to Manchester he joined the
Manchester Athletic Club in 1906.

A strict vegetarian, he attributed his
athletic prowess to this fact. He was also a talented linguist.

He continued his running career for another five years after
the Olympics, winning a number of British, Australian and European
championships. He was the AAA British four-mile champion in
1908 and again in 1909; British five-mile champion in 1908 and
British one-mile champion in 1910. In 1909 and 1910 he also
competed in Europe, winning titles in Sweden, Finland, Germany
and France. In 1911 he emigrated to Australia and became the
Australian six-miles record holder in 1911, the Australian two-miles
record holder in 1913 and Victorian one-mile champion in 1913.
World War 1 put an end to his career. He went on to establish
businesses in Australia and became a pioneer of early radio
there, setting up his own radio station 2KY in 1925. He became
President of the Australian Federation of Broadcasting Stations,
and in 1948 he moved to live in Auckland, New Zealand, where
he died on 16th October 1973 aged ninety. (Source: Text &
Images – Robin Voigt).

Emil Voigt with his framed Olympic Certificate
Emil Voigt in his 80s with his framed
Olympic Certificate.



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© John Moss, Papillon Graphics AD 2013 Manchester, United Kingdom – all rights reserved.
This page last updated 22 Jan 12.