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Joe Deakin

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 1
Silver 0
Bronze 0
Total 1
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameJoseph Edmund "Joe"•Deakin
Used nameJoe•Deakin
Nick/petnamesThe Priest
Born6 February 1879 in Shelton, Stoke-on-Trent, Stoke-on-Trent, England (GBR)
Died30 June 1972 in Dulwich, Greater London, England (GBR)
Measurements170 cm / 59 kg
AffiliationsHerne Hill Harriers, Mitcham (GBR)
NOC Great Britain
Nationality Ireland


As a young man, Joe Deakin served with the Rifle Brigade and even when stationed overseas he always managed to find time to purse his passion for running. During the Boer War he set South African records at 880 yards and 1 mile and in 1901 he won the Irish mile and 4 miles titles. On his return to England in 1903, Deakin joined Herne Hill Harriers and soon established himself as an outstanding cross-country runner, the best of his many excellent performances being second place in the National 1907. A good showing in the early season track races in 1908 earned him selection for three events at the Olympic Games and after finishing sixth in the 1,500 metres, he led the British team home in the 3-mile team event the following day. After winning a gold medal in the morning Deakin lined up for the heats of the 5 miles in the afternoon, but it came as no surprise when, replete with a celebratory champagne lunch, he failed to finish!

After the Olympics, Deakin transferred to Surrey, AC, following a dispute with Herne Hill Harriers, and tried his luck at the marathon. In his first race he finished 20th in the “Poly” and although he had been temporarily blinded during the war, he improved to take eighth place in 1920. The amazing Joe Deakin continued to compete until his 90th birthday and died three years after his last race.

Personal Bests: 1500 – 4:07.9e (1908); Mile – 4:21.8 (1907); 2 miles – 9:37.8 (1907); 3 miles – 14:26.8 (1907); 4 miles - 19:54.4 (1907); 6 miles – 31:21.8 (1908); 10 miles – 53:41.4 (1908).


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal Nationality As
1908 Summer Olympics Athletics GBR IRL Joe Deakin
1,500 metres, Men (Olympic) 6
5 miles, Men (Olympic) AC h4 r1/2
3 miles, Team, Men (Olympic) Great Britain 1 Gold