Jean Botham

Biographical information

TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameJean Annabel•Botham (-Jensen)
Used nameJean•Botham
Born12 February 1935 in West Ham, Greater London, England (GBR)
Died30 June 2021
AffiliationsSouth Manchester Swimming Club, Manchester (GBR)
NOC Great Britain


Although from London, where her father was the superintendent at the Leyton baths, Jean Botham moved to the north of England when her father accepted a similar appointment in Manchester. She joined the South Manchester Swimming Club, where she was coached by her father and in 1950 won the ASA Girls’ 100 yards freestyle title. She came close to her first senior ASA title in 1952 when finishing second in the 220 free and third in the 100 yards. The following year, Botham won the first of three national titles when she won what was then the 110 yards free. She retained the title in 1954 when she completed the double by also winning the 220 title. She also finished second in the 440 free that year. It was a memorable year for Botham as she set the inaugural English 110 yards record of 1:09.4 at Blackpool.

Internationally, Botham competed at the 1952 Olympics, the 1953 European Championships in Turin, and the 1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games at Vancouver, where she won her only international medal, in the 4 x 110 yards relay with Daphne Wilkinson, Fearne Ewart, and Valerie Nares-Pillow. Botham took a complete break from swimming in 1955 but, after a year away from the sport, returned in 1956.

Botham’s brother Roy was a double Olympian, and the two siblings, along with another brother, Bill, all swam for the South Manchester club. Jean emigrated to Canada in 1958.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1952 Summer Olympics Swimming (Aquatics) GBR Jean Botham
100 metres Freestyle, Women (Olympic) 21
4 × 100 metres Freestyle Relay, Women (Olympic) Great Britain 5

Olympic family relations

Special Notes