Derek Johnson

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 0
Silver 1
Bronze 1
Total 2
RolesCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameDerek James Neville•Johnson
Used nameDerek•Johnson
Born5 January 1933 in Chigwell, Essex, England (GBR)
Died30 August 2004
Measurements176 cm / 66 kg
AffiliationsWoodford Green AC, Woodford Green (GBR)
NOC Great Britain


Derek Johnson was Britain’s top 800 metre runner of the 1950s. In 1954 he won gold medals in the 880 yards and on the 4×440 yards relay team (with Alan Dick, Peter Higgins, and the non-Olympian Peter Fryer) at the British Empire and Commonwealth Games. In that year he also won the AAA title and finished 4th in the European Championships over 800 metres. In 1955 he broke the British record for the half-mile, recording 1:48.7. At the 1958 British Empire and Commonwealth Games he won silver in the 4×440 yards relay (with John Wrighton, John Salisbury, and the non-Olympian Ted Sampson). Johnson also competed in the 440 yards, but was eliminiated in the quarter-finals. In both British Empire and Commonwealth Games he represented England. He entered medical school and continued running but developed tuberculosis in 1959. He spent six months in a sanatorium and had to drop out of medical school. He took up a career with computers, running a computer company, but continued competing and attempted to make the 1964 Olympic team.

Personal Bests: 400 – 47.40y (1958); 800 – 1:46.6 (1957).


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1956 Summer Olympics Athletics GBR Derek Johnson
800 metres, Men (Olympic) 2 Silver
4 × 400 metres Relay, Men (Olympic) Great Britain 3 Bronze

Special Notes