Jack Hatfield was the son of the manager of the local swimming baths in Middlesbrough and naturally spent a lot of his childhood in the water. His nemesis at the 1912 Olympics was McGill University student George Hodgson of Canada and, while Hatfield was clearly superior to all the other swimmers, the Canadian’s performances were remarkable and the Englishman had to be satisfied with two silver medal in the longer freestyle events and a bronze from the relay. Hatfield won his first national title on his return from Sweden and was the outstanding British swimmer over the next two years. A rematch with Hodgson at the 1916 Olympic Games would have been an exciting prospect but in the week the Games were to be held Hatfield was a soldier in the trenches of Northern France, where he spent much of the Great War. He returned to the sport in 1920 but did not reach the standard he attained in the pre-war years until the following year when he repeated his feat of 1913 and won four national titles. Hatfield’s third Olympic Games in Paris in 1924 saw him reach the same two individual finals he had reached twelve years earlier, only this time he could not make an impression of the medal standings. A regular member of the England and Great Britain water polo teams throughout the 20s, his farewell Olympic appearance in 1928 combined the British team’s run to the semi-finals of the water polo tournament with a heat swim in the 400 m freestyle. Hatfield won 42 ASA titles over a 20-year career and used his fame to become a successful businessman with a chain of sport shops across the north-east of England. He was also a director of Middlesbrough Football Club. Hatfield is an inductee in the International Swimming Hall of Fame.