Donna Murray-Hartley

Biographical information

RolesCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameDonna-Marie Louise•Murray-Hartley (-Wass)
Used nameDonna•Murray-Hartley
Born1 May 1955 in Southampton, England (GBR)
Died7 June 2013 in Elsecar, England (GBR)
Measurements170 cm / 55 kg
AffiliationsSouthampton Athletic Club, Southampton (GBR)
NOC Great Britain
Medals OG
Gold 0
Silver 0
Bronze 1
Total 1


Donna Murray first come to prominence in 1972 when she won the national WAAA 200m title shortly after her 17th birthday and was chosen for the British team for the Munich Olympics. From 1974 onwards she began to specialize at 400m and almost immediately broke Lillian Board’s British record but could not convert that form to the major championship events where she failed to the reach the final of either the Commonwealth Games or the European Championships. Murray’s best year was 1978 where she won the Commonwealth Games 400 m gold medal before running the anchor leg for England’s victorious 4 x 400 m relay team. Her final major championship appearance came at the Moscow Olympics where, after a season blighted by illness and poor form, she helped Great Britain to win the bronze medal. She retired from international competition at the end of the 1980 season.

A familiar figure on British tracks throughout the seventies with her distinctive long blond hair, she became known as the “Golden Girl” of British track and field and for the later part of her racing career was married to Bill Hartley, a member of Great Britain’s 1974 European Championship winning 4 x 400 m relay team. The pair eventually divorced and she remarried to actor/comedian Bobby Knutt. She then turned to competitive bodybuilding and had a successful career in her new sport which culminated in her placing 2nd in the Ms. Universe Physique competition. Later in life she ran a fitness studio and line dancing school in Yorkshire

Personal Bests: 200 – 22.75 (1978); 400 – 51.28 (1975).


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1972 Summer Olympics Athletics GBR Donna Murray
200 metres, Women (Olympic) 8 h2 r3/4
1976 Summer Olympics Athletics GBR Donna Murray
400 metres, Women (Olympic) 5 h4 r2/4
4 × 400 metres Relay, Women (Olympic) Great Britain 7
1980 Summer Olympics Athletics GBR Donna Hartley
4 × 400 metres Relay, Women (Olympic) Great Britain 3 Bronze

Special Notes