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Harold Wilson

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 1
Silver 1
Bronze 0
Total 2
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameHarold Allan•Wilson
Used nameHarold•Wilson
Born22 January 1885 in Horncastle, Lincolnshire, England (GBR)
Died17 May 1932 in Durban (RSA)
Measurements162 cm / 52 kg
AffiliationsHallamshire Harriers, Sheffield (GBR)
NOC Great Britain


Harold Wilson joined Hallamshire Harriers at an early age and, in 1906, competed in his first mile race, at Hillsborough Park, Sheffield. At Rotherham just one week later, he enjoyed his first victory over the distance. Hallamshire were the dominant team on the Northern cross-country circuit at that time, and won the Northern title six ears in succession 1907-12. Wilson was a member of the winning team in the first two of those years.

He was one of the favourites for the 1908 Olympic 1500 metres title after setting a “world record” of 3:59.8 at the British Olympic trials. Wilson the won the AAA mile title in 4:20.2, which topped the world rankings for the year. Wilson could not quite repeat his earlier form in the Olympic 1500 metres final, however, and took the silver medal, two metres behind the American Mel Sheppard. In the 3-miles team event he finished fifth individually, and for a man who was running well beyond his usual distance, it was an excellent performance to beat all but John Eisele (USA) of the foreign entrants.

Wilson went to live and work in the United States in 1909, but the following year turned professional and moved to South Africa to race with his good friend Reggie Walker. Wilson enjoyed limited success there, and in Canada. He returned to England briefly, before making South Africa his permanent home, where he died in 1932.

Personal Bests: 1500 – 3:59.8 (1908); Mile – 4:20.2 (1908); 2 miles – 9:40.8 (1910); 3 miles – 14:57.0 (1908).


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1908 Summer Olympics Athletics GBR Harold Wilson
1,500 metres, Men (Olympic) 2 Silver
5 miles, Men (Olympic) DNS
3 miles, Team, Men (Olympic) Great Britain 1 Gold