John Ryan

Biographical information

TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameJohn•Ryan
Used nameJohn•Ryan
Born9 September 1934 in Doocastle, Ballymote (IRL)
Died17 May 1989 in Ilford, Greater London, England (GBR)
Measurements183 cm / 85 kg
AffiliationsRenchudan Judo Club, London (GBR)
NOC Ireland


John Ryan was born at Rooskey, Doocastle, Ballymote, County Mayo and moved to London around 1949 where he first took up judo, joining the Renchudan Judo Club. He earned his black belt, 1st Dan in 1957, 2nd Dan in 1958 and was a member of the British team at the European Judo Championships in Wien (Vienna) in 1959 and Amsterdam in 1960. He achieved the rank of 3rd Dan in 1960 at the British Championships, the highest rank attained by an Irishman at the time, and went on to win a bronze medal at the 1962 European Judo Championships in the 3rd Dan class.

Ryan again competed at the European Championships at Genève in 1963, but his most notable international appearance would come in the following year when he was chosen to represent his country at the Tokyo Olympics in the judo event, finishing in fifth place and narrowly missing the semi-finals. He won the Goldberg Vass Trophy, the highest honor in British Judo, in 1964, 1965 and 1966. Outside of sports, Ryan was an educator by profession, working as a mathematics and physical education teacher in East London. He also managed and coached the British Judo Team, later reaching the rank of 6th Dan before his death in 1989.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1964 Summer Olympics Judo IRL John Ryan
Open Class, Men (Olympic) 5