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John Daly

Full name: John Joseph Daly
Nickname(s): The Deerfoot of Dowras
Gender: Male
Height: 6-1.5 (187 cm)
Weight: 183 lbs (83 kg)
Born: February 22, 1880 in Ballyglunin, Galway, Ireland
Died: March 11, 1969 in New York, New York, United States
Affiliations: Gaelic Athletic Association, Dublin (IRL)
Country: GBR Great Britain
Sport: Athletics

Medals: 1 Silver (1 Total)


One of the leading early Irish distance runners, John Daly was successful on both sides of the Atlantic. The son of a County Galway farmer, the young John worked on his father’s farm and enjoyed coursing, hunting with dogs, and was captain of the Corfin Rebels Gaelic Football team. He was first interested in athletics after attending a meeting at Athenry in 1900 and in September that year he took part in his first competitive meeting at Mount Bellew and won the high and broad jumps, and was third in the 440 yard race. After that success he joined the Galway City Harriers and was a member of their team that entered the Irish cross Country championship in Dublin in 1901 and Daly won the race by a clear 80 yards.

In 1902 Daly won the Irish AAA the mile and four miles and soon afterwards won both events in the Ireland vs. Scotland match. He again won the Irish AAA mile in 1903 and at the Gaelic AAA Championships won the three miles in 1902. In 1904 he finished second in the AAA steeplechase and the following month he was in St. Louis for the Olympics where he again finished second in the steeplechase, but he won the US title that year. Daly stayed on in America for two years but was attracted home by the 1906 Olympics. The Irish Field sponsored [Peter O’Connor] and [Con Leahy] but Daly had to pay his own fare and find his own accommodation in Athinai. He finished third in the five miles but was disqualified for obstructing [Edward Dahl] (SWE) in the final straight. In the marathon, he stayed with the leaders for 18 miles before blisters and an ankle injury forced him to retire. His blisters were so severe that he was hospitalized for three days. Back in North American for the 1907 season he enjoyed his greatest year, winning the US title at five miles and ten miles and the Canadian title at one, three and ten miles.

Although selected for his third Olympics in 1908 Daly did not take part because of injury but in September finished third in the American five miles championship. In the International Cross-Country race he finished third in 1903 and fourth in 1904 and 1906 and led the Irish team home each time. In 1910 and 1911 he took part in some long distance road races in Ireland but eventually settled in America where he became a successful New York businessman and was the owner of five taverns in the city which he called “Poor Man’s Clubs”. Daly was President of several important liquor dealers and restaurant owners associations around New York.

Personal Bests: Mile – 4:27.8 (1902); 3 miles – 14:45.0 (1907); 4 miles – 19:42.6 (1902); 5 miles – 26:04.0 (1907); Mar – unknown.


Games Age City Sport Event Team NOC Rank Medal
1904 Summer 24 St. Louis Athletics Men's 2,590 metres Steeplechase Great Britain GBR 2 Silver
1906 Summer 26 Athina Athletics Men's 5 mile Great Britain GBR AC DQ
1906 Summer 26 Athina Athletics Men's Marathon Great Britain GBR AC DNF

Men's 5 mile

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank
1906 Summer 26 Athina Athletics Great Britain Final Standings AC DQ

Men's Marathon

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank
1906 Summer 26 Athina Athletics Great Britain Final Standings AC DNF

Men's 2,590 metres Steeplechase

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank MB
1904 Summer 24 St. Louis Athletics Great Britain Final Standings 2 100 yrds bh1
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