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William Donne

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 1
Silver 0
Bronze 0
Total 1
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameWilliam Stephens•Donne
Used nameWilliam•Donne
Born2 April 1876 in Castle Cary, Somerset, England (GBR)
Died24 March 1934 in Belle Vue, Castle Cary, Somerset, England (GBR)
AffiliationsDevon & Somerset Wanderers, Castle Cary (GBR)
NOC Great Britain


On leaving King’s School, Bruton, William Donne joined the family firm of rope and twine manufacturers which had been founded in Castle Cary in 1797. For many years he played a leading role in civic affairs at Somerset and among the numerous appointments he held were those of Justice of the Peace, Alderman of the County Council and Governor of his old school. For a while he also held a regular commission in Somerset Light Infantry. William Donne was the founder of the Devon and Somerset County Wanderers, the touring side which represented Great Britain at cricket at the 1900 Olympic Games, but he was best known for his administrative work on behalf of rugby football. He was a committee member of the Somerset County Rugby Union for 38 years and served as the Honorary Secretary for nine years, immediately prior to being elected President in 1905. He represented Somerset on the Rugby Football Union committee from 1902 until he was honored by being elected President of the RFU for the year 1924-25. Donne’s year of office coincided with the tour of the All Blacks during which Cyril Brownlie, the New Zealand back-row forward, became the first player to be sent off in an international match. The incident threatened the continuation as a result of Donne’s tactful handling of the situation.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1900 Summer Olympics Cricket GBR William Donne
Cricket, Men (Olympic) Devon and Somerset Wanderers 1 Gold