Full name: Jack Braughton
Born: February 22, 1921 in Grimsby, North East Lincolnshire, Great Britain
Died: October 30, 2016
Affiliations: Blackheath Harriers, Blackheath (GBR)
Country: Great Britain
At the 1948 Olympics, Jack Broughton took part in the 5,000 metres and whilst the record books show that he was eliminated in his heat, they donât tell the true story of his appearance on the Wembley track.
A building site manager, Braughton had to ask for time off work to go to the Olympics which was granted by his boss, but it meant him losing pay â there was no sponsorship or other funding in those days. Fortunately for Braughton, his heat was on a Saturday, which meant losing just half a dayâs pay as he only worked on a Saturday morning, not the full day. He left his home in Peckham and made his way on public transport to Wembley Stadium, got changed, ran his heat, got changed again and returned home in time for tea with his wife, who was not interested in watching him run. This was the only time he ran in a Great Britain shirt and, because of his need to earn money, he turned down a chance to tour New Zealand with the AAAs.
Jack Braughton started running when he was at Grimsby technical college and later joined Cleethorpes Harriers and, after they closed, Grimsby Harriers, and in 1939 won the Eastern-Counties Junior Cross-Country title. He carried on running during his Army days in India, but after the war he began running again seriously in his quest to compete at the London Olympics. He joined the famous Blackheath Harriers that boasted such notable members as the the young [Gordon Pirie], [Charles Wiard] and [Sydney Wooderson] at that time. Braughton finished fourth in the AAA three miles in 1948 and that year won the first of four consecutive Surrey three miles titles until dethroned by Pirie in 1952. Braughton finished sixth in the 1955 Polytechnic Marathon in 2-36:04 â it was his first ever race over the distance and was the be his personal best time for the distance.
Jack Braughton embodied all that was good about amateur sport in those days. A true amateur he fully believed in Baron de Coubertinâs creed and thoroughly enjoyed running, win or lose. He had no coach or mentor, trained just twice a week and was still competing until he was 80 when, as he said he: âRan out of opponentsâ. He was still running socially until his 90s, when he also went ballroom dancing four times a week.
Personal Best: 5000 â unknown.
|1948 Summer||27||London||Athletics||Men's 5,000 metres||Great Britain||GBR||8 h1 r1/2|
|1948 Summer||27||London||Athletics||Great Britain||Round One||Heat One||8|