John Parlett

Biographical information

RolesCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameHarold John•Parlett
Used nameJohn•Parlett
Born19 April 1925 in Bromley, England (GBR)
Died6 March 2022 in Woodford Green, England (GBR)
Measurements180 cm / 62 kg
AffiliationsDorking St. Paul's Athletic Club, Dorking (GBR)
NOC Great Britain


John Parlett joined the Dorking St. Paul’s Athletic Club as a schoolboy in 1942, and was soon breaking club 880 yard records. He captured the Surrey and Southern Counties titles before winning his first England international vest against France in 1947. He finished third in the AAAs 880 that year, before winning the title in 1948, and again in 1949. He was third in 1950, and in AAAs mile in 1951 was again third, behind Roger Bannister and Bill Nankeville. Parlett was a Woking art student at the time of the 1948 Olympics, having just left the RAF. He qualified with ease from his two 800 metre heats but could finish only eighth in the final. In 1950, Parlett won both the British Empire and European 800m/880y titles within a few weeks of each other. At Bruxelles, in the Europeans, he beat Marcel Hansenne, the Olympic bronze medalist, and Roger Bannister into second and third place respectively and in a championship-best time of 1:50.5. Parlett also won a silver medal in the 4x440 yards relay at the Empire Games. He first met sprinter Dorothy Manley at the 1948 Games, and 25 years later they re-kindled their relationship after she was widowed, and he had ended a relationship, and four years later the pair married.

Personal Best: 800 – 1:50.5 (1950).


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1948 Summer Olympics Athletics GBR John Parlett
800 metres, Men (Olympic) 8

Olympic family relations

Special Notes