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Celebrity Drawings by John Moss

Sports & Olympic Champions of Manchester

Harold Hardman

British Olympic Football Team

Harold Hardman, British Olympic Football Team


In 1904 the Federation of International Football Clubs came
into being, and football was still an Olympic event. In the
1908 Olympics, the football events took place in October at
the White Stadium in London.
It was here that Harold Payne Hardman excelled himself and came
to the public’s attention. Born at Kirkmanshulme in April 1882,
he played outside-left in the final match against Denmark, the
British team having already defeated Sweden 12-1, and Holland
4-0. Hardman had been a delicate child, and was educated in
Blackpool High School, where his slight physique forced him
to concentrate on speed, agility and fast footwork – all qualities
which he had in abundance. He had played for several north-west
football clubs before joining Everton in 1903.
Altogether he would play for England four times in international
competitions, and gained 10 amateur caps. In 1907 he became
a solicitor in Manchester, and played 4 matches for Manchester
United during 1908, and by 1912 he played for Stoke City. He
was invited to become a director at Manchester
, and remained so for the rest of his life. He was
also a Football Association Councillor and President of Lancashire
Football Association. He died on 9th June 1965 aged 83. Source:
James W Bancroft Archive

Sybil Newall

National & Olympic Archery Champion

The first National Archery Championships
had been convened at York in 1844, when a party of archery enthusiasts
set out to raise the bow and arrow from medieval weapons to
a skilled modern sport. By 1861, a Grand National Archery Society
had been formed and it was included as a legitimate sport in
the 1900 Olympic Games.
Sybil Fenton “Queenie” Fenton was one of the world’s first female
archery champions, winning the Ladies’ National Round Archery
competition in 1908. She had been born at Calderbrook near Rochdale
on 17th October 1854, the eldest daughter to John and Maria
Newall, who kept a large estate at Hare Hill (now a National
Trust Garden).
Her family traced its ancestry back to the reign of Henry IV
in the 14th century, and her grandfather, John Fenton, served
2 terms as Liberal Member of Parliament for Rochdale. Sybil
Newall moved to live in Gloucestershire in 1905, and she joined
the Cheltenham Archery Club, where, having scored the highest
totals in several regional meetings, she qualified and was recruited
onto the Olympic Team.
In the 1908 Olympics, she won the Gold Medal by 43 points, beating
the legendary Lottie Dodd, her main rival and multiple medal
winner. At the age of 53, “Queenie” Newall was the oldest woman
ever to win an Olympic title – in any sport. She was to go on
to win National Championship titles in 1911 and 1912, and continued
to take part in archery contest over the next 20 years. She
died at Cheltenham on 24th June 1929, aged seventy-four years.
(Source: James W Bancroft Archive).

Douglas Lowe

Olympic 800 Metres Champion

Douglas Lowe, 800 metres Olympic Champion - Chariots of Fire

Although the 1924 Olympics were immortalised in the film “Chariots
of Fire”, a notable omission was that of Douglas Lowe, the double
Olympic Champion who was born in Manchester. Unfortunately,
the film dealt with the more controversial and cinematic background
story, and neglected Lowe’s achievements on the track.
Born in August 1902, Douglas Lowe attended Highgate School and
excelled immediately as a middle distance runner, winning the
Public Schools’ 880 yards title in 1920. Later, at Pembroke
College in Cambridge, he gained blues for football and athletics,
winning the 880 yards against Oxford in 1922 and 1923, and both
the mile and the quarter-mile race against them in 1924. In
the 1924 Olympic Games in Paris, Lowe won the Gold Medal in
a new record time of 1 minute 52.4 seconds, beating the favourite,
Stallard, who had suffered a leg injury.
Lowe retained individual titles in the 800 yards and the 4 x
400 yards Relay in the 1928 Olympics at Amsterdam (pictured
left in the 800 metres). His winning 800 metre run was a personal
best performance at 1 minute 51.8 seconds, a full second ahead
of any of the world class competitors in the race – his record
was not be repeated by another Briton until 1984. He retired
from athletics at the end of the 1928 season and took up law
at the Inner Temple in London. He became Secretary of the Amateur
Athletics Association from 1931 to 1938.
He was made a judge in 1964 after a distinguished legal career,
and was made Recorder at the Crown Court. He died in Kent in
March 1981 aged 78 years. (Source: James W Bancroft Archive).

Billy Dean

England International Water Polo Player

Billy Dean  - International Water Polo Player

Born on 6th February 1887 in Moston,
Billy Dean was the nephew of Herbert Dean, whom many authorities
claim to have actually drawn up the first rules of Water Polo.
Billy attended Manchester Central High School and was active
in playing cricket, football and hockey, and was a member of
the Ancoats Lads’ Club. By the age of 10 he was already and
accomplished swimmer, frequenting Victoria Baths, and being
awarded the Royal Humane Medal for diving into a swollen river,
fully clothed, to save a drowning boy.
By 14 he was in the England Boys’ Open Championships, and by
1902 was a major player in the Manchester Swan Polo Team, based
at Ardwick Baths. He worked as an apprentice for the Manchester
Electric Company, and became chief engineer at the Planters
Margarine Works in Hyde.
Billy Dean went on to represent England 18 times, six as team
captain. He also played for Salford Swimming Club and for Eccles
Borough Football Club (1907-08). In 1909 he moved to Hyde and
joined the famous Hyde Seals. He was also an apprentice goalkeeper
for Manchester United
Football Club
for 2 seasons.
In 1920 he set up in business with a partner to found Dean &
Noble Limited in Market Street, Hyde. The enterprise was very
successful, to such an extent that the pressure of business
forced Billy to retire from water polo in that year.
In 1949, after returning from the Wembley Cup Final, where his
favourite team, Manchester United, had just beaten Blackpool,
he fell ill. He was taken to Christie Hospital in Manchester
with acute appendicitis, and died on the operating table on
the 2nd May, at the age of 62. Billy Dean is buried in Hyde
Cemetery. (Source: James W Bancroft Archive).

Ben Jones

British Olympic Cycling Champion

Ben Jones, Olympic Cycling Champion

Born in 1882, Benjamin Jones, a Wigan collier, was the most
successful British cyclist to date in international competition.
He was a member of the Wigan Bicycle Club and was holder of
the National Record and Title over 5 miles. He was part of the
1908 Olympic British Pursuit Team squad which also included
Leon Meredith, Ernest Payne and Clarence Kingbury.
Payne also played on 2 occasions for Manchester United Football
Club. Over 5 competitions, Jones was to win a total of one silver
and two gold medals at the White City Stadium. He was a notable
cycle sprint competitor, a runner up to Germany in 1908, but
he regained his 5 Miles Title in 1910 in Berlin.
He later moved to the Salford Harriers Cycling Team and raced
for them at Manchester’s Belle Vue track, and with whom he had
4 wins in the South African Championships from 1911 to 1914.
Eventually he moved to live in London and rode for the Southwark
and for the Putney Cycle Club teams. (Source: James W Bancroft

John Henry Osborne

Champion Swimmer & Water Polo Player

Born in Manchester on
29th November 1878, John Osborne is rated as one of the best
swimmers ever to emerge from the city. “Rob” as he was known
won 10 English swimming titles between 1898 and 1904 including
six wins in the 100 yards freestyle – still a record today.
He was the first Englishman to complete the distance in under
a minute, and was capped nine times as an England water polo
player, and captained the national team in 1898. He later won
a Bronze Medal as part of the 4 x 250 metres relay team in the
interim Athens Olympics of 1908, and a second Olympic title
in London in 1908 as well as other freestyle swimming honours
in the 1912 Olympics. In 1908, Osborne’s father was appointed
Head of the Victoria Baths in Hathersage Road, Manchester, and
later Rob followed in his father’s footsteps top become Manager
at Old Trafford Baths. He went on to Manage the Lime Grove Baths
in London where he founded the Penguin Swimming Club which became
national champions. Osborne was appointed Manager to the British
Olympic Swimming Team for the 1928 Amsterdam and the 1936 Berlin
Olympics. John Osborne died at Forge Baslow in Derbyshire on
30th July 1938 at the age of 59 and is buried in Stretford Cemetery.
(Source: James W Bancroft Archive).

Henry Taylor

Champion Swimmer & Water Polo Player

Henry Taylor, Water Polo Player

Henry Taylor was born in Hollinwood on St Patrick’s Day 1885,
though he was orphaned at a very young age and was effectively
raised by his brother, William. From the age of 7 he frequented
Chadderton Baths in Oldham, where he won a Silver Medal for
swimming, and took part in many swimming galas. He was employed
at a local cotton mill, but practised swimming in the nearby
Hollinwood Canal (now gone) during his lunchtimes and at Alexandra
Park boating lake in the evenings. He joined the Chadderton
Swimming Club and was selected for the Interim Olympic Games
in Athens in 1906, and although not rated as a medal winner,
he actually won a Gold Medal in the 1 mile freestyle competition.
Also in 1906 he won the world record for the 880 yards. In the
1908 Olympics he set other world records and won gold medals
in the 400 metres, the 4 x 200 metres relay, the 1500 metres
– honours which earned him the title of “Britain’s Greatest
Amateur Swimmer”. Subsequent Olympic Games saw many more medals
accumulated, as well as many Amateur Swimming Association records.
He was also a regular swimmer in the 13 mile Morecambe Bay Race
for over 20 years and won it on 8 occasions. Unfortunately,
his life was dogged by financial difficulties which forced his
selling of many of his 35 trophies and over 300 medals. He retried
from competition in 1926 and bought the “Nudger” Pub in Dobcross,
near Oldham, but this venture failed miserably and he took work
as senior attendant at Chadderton baths. Henry Taylor died,
a bachelor at Greenacres in Oldham on 28th February 1951, at
the age of 65. His trophies were subsequently gathered together
and were on display at Chadderton Baths for many years. (Source:
James W Bancroft Archive).



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Copyright © John Moss, Papillon Graphics AD 2013 Manchester, United Kingdom – all rights reserved.
This page last updated 23 Jan 12.