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Anne Pashley

Full name: Anne Pashley (-Irons)
Gender: Female
Height: 5-3.5 (162 cm)
Weight: 110 lbs (50 kg)
Born: June 5, 1935 in Skegness, Lincolnshire, Great Britain
Died: October 7, 2016 in Chilton, Buckinghamshire, Great Britain
Country: GBR Great Britain
Sport: Athletics

Medals: 1 Silver (1 Total)


Many Olympians have found fame in other sports or other fields after their Olympic experience, but few can claim to have gone on to become a leading opera singer like Skegness-born Anne Pashley.

Having first appeared in the AAA Championship just two days after her 16th birthday in 1951, and finishing third, Pashley was the 100 yards champion in both 1953 and 1954. She won a silver medal as part of the England 4 x 110 yards relay team at the 1954 Commonwealth Games in Vancouver, and followed that with an individual bronze medal at that year’s European Championship at Bern, Switzerland. In Olympic year, 1956, she was runner-up to [June Paul] in the Women’s AAA 100 yards before being part of the Great Britain sprint relay team that won the silver medal at the Melbourne Games when she was just 21 years of age. She was studying at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama in London at the time of the Olympics, and it was as an opera singer that was to find fame as one of the leading British sopranos of her time.

She made her stage début in 1959 with the Handel Opera Society in Semele, and appeared at the Glyndebourne Festival for the first time in 1962 and at Covent Garden in 1965 as Barbarina in Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro. Pashley sang with the English, Welsh and Scottish National Operas and at all the leading British Festivals, as well as major engagements across Europe and in Israel. She also performed leading roles in eight BBC television operas and many more radio broadcasts. Anne married tenor Jack Irons in 1959 and they regularly performed together on stage in the 1960s. He pre-deceased her, dying in 2005.

Personal Best: 100 – 11.6 (1956).


Games Age City Sport Event Team NOC Rank Medal
1956 Summer 21 Melbourne Athletics Women's 100 metres Great Britain GBR 3 h3 r1/3
1956 Summer 21 Melbourne Athletics Women's 4 × 100 metres Relay Great Britain GBR 2 Silver

Women's 100 metres

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank T(H) T(A)
1956 Summer 21 Melbourne Athletics Great Britain Round One Heat Three 3 11.7 11.94

Women's 4 × 100 metres Relay

Games Age City Sport Team NOC Phase Unit Rank T(H) T(A) L
1956 Summer 21 Melbourne Athletics Great Britain GBR Final 2 44.7 44.70 4
1956 Summer 21 Melbourne Athletics Great Britain GBR Round One Heat Two 1 QU 45.3 45.38
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