Paddy Roche

Biographical information

RolesCompeted in Olympic Games
Full namePatrick Joseph "Paddy"•Roche
Used namePaddy•Roche
Born1886 in Cork (IRL)
Died25 August 1917 in Baghdad (IRQ)
AffiliationsKnockrea Athletic Club, IRL / Queens College, Cork, IRL
NOC Great Britain
Nationality Ireland


Paddy Roche was educated at Blackrock College for Boys before going to Queen’s College, Cork, from where he graduated with an engineering degree. He played Gaelic football before turning to running after joining the Knockrea Athletic Club in 1905. After winning the 220 y at the Gaelic AA Championships in 1906, Roche subsequently competed in the Irish AAA Championships, winning both sprints in 1907 and the 100 y again in 1908-09. On the way to winning his first IAAA 100y title he twice equalled the national record and in the final beat Denis Murray, who had won the title six times previously and was the defending champion. Roche also won the 110 y for Ireland vs. Scotland three times, 1907-08 and 1910. He was also selected for the 1909 meeting but was ill and could not travel. At the London Olympics he reached the semi-final of the 200 metres but lost out on a place in the final when beaten by inches by George Hawkins, who was also to lose his life, killed in action the month after Roche. Shortly after the 1908 Olympics Roche won the 220 y in the match between the Irish AAA and the Irish-American athletes in Dublin.

After graduating from university, Roche applied to join the Indian Civil Service, and after World War I broke out, he served with the Indian Army Reserve Officers, attached to the 1st King George’s Own Sappers and Miners, Royal Engineers (India). He died of enteric fever (typhoid) whilst serving in Baghdad. Two days before his death he was gazetted for a Military Cross (MC) for showing exceptional courage while on active service.

Personal Bests: 100y – 10.2 (1907); 200 – 22.6e (1908).


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal Nationality As
1908 Summer Olympics Athletics GBR IRL Paddy Roche
100 metres, Men (Olympic) 3 h1 r2/3
200 metres, Men (Olympic) 2 h4 r2/3

Special Notes