Full name: John Erle Fethers
Born: December 4, 1929 in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Died: March 30, 2010 in Caulfield, Victoria, Australia
Affiliations: ?, Victoria, (AUS)
Melbournian John Fethers was seventeen when he first handled a sword but within six months of taking up the sport he was already of a standard to be a medallist at the Victoria State championships. He quickly rose through the ranks and in 1950 was chosen to compete for Australia at the British Empire Games in New Zealand where he won the silver medal in the individual foil behind René Paul of England.
The following year Fethers created a little piece of history by becoming the first man to win all three weapons at the Australian national championships. After these successes it was inevitable that he should be picked for Australia’s inaugural Olympic fencing team for 1952 in all available disciplines and in Helsinki he reached the second phase of competition in both Épée and Foil. Fethers’ second British Empire Games proved more successful as he returned home from Vancouver in 1954 having repeated the silver medal foil performance of 1950 and added bronze in the individual sabre and three team medals (silver and two bronze) to his haul.
That same year of 1954 brought more success as won the British Open and reached the semi-finals of the World Championships. He became the first Australian to reach the final pool at a World Championships in 1955 but was unable to travel back to Australia for the selection matches and was overlooked for a place at the Melbourne Games. Towards the end of the decade he decided to turn professional but his Olympic career did not come to an end as he was a coach for the Australian team in Tokyo and later became national head coach. In addition to being a fencing master Fethers also worked in the movies choreographing swordfights and appearing as a stunt double in fencing scenes.
John Fethers had the following podium finishes at major championships: 2nd in the 1950 British Empire Games Foil Individual, 2nd in the 1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games Foil Individual, 2nd in the 1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games Foil Team (with Ivan Lund and Roderick Steele), 3rd in the 1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games Sabre Individual, 3rd in the 1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games Sabre Team (with Ivan Lund, Roderick Steele, and the non-Olympian Laurence Smith), 3rd in the 1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games Épée Team (with Ivan Lund and the non-Olympian Laurence Smith). In the 1950 British Empire Games foil team he finished fourth and he also competed in the 1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games épée individual.
|1952 Summer||22||Helsinki||Fencing||Men's Foil, Individual||Australia||AUS||6 p6 r2/4|
|1952 Summer||22||Helsinki||Fencing||Men's Foil, Team||Australia||AUS||3 p4 r1/4|
|1952 Summer||22||Helsinki||Fencing||Men's Épée, Individual||Australia||AUS||5 p5 r2/4|
|1952 Summer||22||Helsinki||Fencing||Men's Épée, Team||Australia||AUS||3 p5 r1/4|
|1952 Summer||22||Helsinki||Fencing||Men's Sabre, Individual||Australia||AUS||6 p4 r1/4|
|1952 Summer||22||Helsinki||Fencing||Men's Sabre, Team||Australia||AUS||3 p3 r1/4|
|1952 Summer||22||Helsinki||Fencing||Australia||AUS||Quarter-Finals||Pool Six||6||1952-07-23||2||3||21|
|1952 Summer||22||Helsinki||Fencing||Australia||AUS||Round One||Pool Five||1T||1952-07-23||5||2||20|
|1952 Summer||22||Helsinki||Fencing||Australia||AUS||Round One||Pool Four||3||1952-07-21||0||2||3||22|
|1952 Summer||22||Helsinki||Fencing||Australia||AUS||Round One||Pool Four||2||1952-07-23||SWE 13, AUS 3||3||2|
|1952 Summer||22||Helsinki||Fencing||Australia||AUS||Round One||Pool Four||2||1952-07-23||FRA 9, AUS 0||0||0|
|1952 Summer||22||Helsinki||Fencing||Australia||AUS||Quarter-Finals||Pool Five||5||1952-07-27||4||4||17|
|1952 Summer||22||Helsinki||Fencing||Australia||AUS||Round One||Pool Eight||4||1952-07-27||3||4||17|
|1952 Summer||22||Helsinki||Fencing||Australia||AUS||Round One||Pool Five||3||1952-07-25||0||2||7||19|
|1952 Summer||22||Helsinki||Fencing||Australia||AUS||Round One||Pool Five||2||1952-07-25||FIN 11, AUS 4||4||0|
|1952 Summer||22||Helsinki||Fencing||Australia||AUS||Round One||Pool Five||2||1952-07-25||LUX 8, AUS 3||3||2|
|1952 Summer||22||Helsinki||Fencing||Australia||AUS||Round One||Pool Four||6||1952-07-31||2||6||28|
|1952 Summer||22||Helsinki||Fencing||Australia||AUS||Round One||Pool Three||3||1952-07-29||0||2||5||21|
|1952 Summer||22||Helsinki||Fencing||Australia||AUS||Round One||Pool Three||2||1952-07-29||DEN 12, AUS 4||4||2|
|1952 Summer||22||Helsinki||Fencing||Australia||AUS||Round One||Pool Three||2||1952-07-29||EGY 9, AUS 1||1||0|