Frank Southall

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 0
Silver 2
Bronze 1
Total 3
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameWilliam Frank•Southall
Used nameFrank•Southall
Born2 July 1904 in Wandsworth, Greater London, England (GBR)
Died5 April 1964 in Hayling Island, Hampshire, England (GBR)
AffiliationsNorwood Paragon CC, South Norwood, Croydon (GBR)
NOC Great Britain


Londoner Frank Southall was equally at home on the track as on the roads and at any discipline between a kilometre and a twelve hour race. He took part in his first race at the age of 17 and three years later was established as the top rider in the country. Southall would often win time trials so easily that cycling magazines coined the term “Southall margin” to describe an overwhelming race victory. In 1925 he broke the national hour record and was chosen for his first World Championship road race in Amsterdam. At the 1928 Olympic Games Southall won silver medals individually and as part of the British road race team but was convinced that he had been unfairly treated and cheated out of two Olympic titles. British officials protested that the Danish gold medalist Henry Hansen had taken a short cut in one of the wooded sections of the course but no evidence was found and the appeal was rejected. Southall added another Olympic medal, a bronze, in the team pursuit at the 1932 Olympics before electing to leave his job as a plasterer to ride professionally for Hercules Bicycles. He focused on point-to-point and 24-hour record attempts during his time as a pro before gradually ending his career to focus on an executive job with Hercules which involved managing the career his employer’s female cyclists.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1928 Summer Olympics Cycling Road (Cycling) GBR Frank Southall
Road Race, Individual, Men (Olympic) 2 Silver
Road Race, Team, Men (Olympic) Great Britain 2 Silver
1932 Summer Olympics Cycling Road (Cycling) GBR Frank Southall
Road Race, Individual, Men (Olympic) 6
Road Race, Team, Men (Olympic) Great Britain 4
Cycling Track (Cycling) GBR Frank Southall
Team Pursuit, 4,000 metres, Men (Olympic) Great Britain 3 Bronze

Olympic family relations