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Malcolm Yardley

Biographical information

TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameHarold Malcolm•Yardley
Used nameMalcolm•Yardley
Born23 December 1940 in Oldham, Greater Manchester, England (GBR)
Died17 March 2020
Measurements170 cm / 65 kg
AffiliationsBirchfield Harriers, Birmingham (GBR)
NOC Great Britain


Although born at Oldham in Lancashire, Malcolm Yardley was brought up, originally, in Coventry. However, after the family house was flattened during one of the many air-raids on the town (now a city), the family moved to Leicester and it was then that Yardley excelled as an all-round sportsman. He represented Leicester schools at football, cricket, and rugby, but it was at athletics that he stood out. He went on to make his Great Britain international début as an 18-year-old in 1959 and proudly wore the British vest for 11 years. He finished second in the AAAs 400 in 1959 and third in 1960, and at the Roma Olympics was the lead-off leg in the 4x400 metres relay team that missed out on a medal, finishing fifth. In 1961 the top-ranked 4x400 quartet in the world was Adrian Metcalfe, Barry Jackson, Robbie Brightwell, and Yardley.

Yardley also competed in the individual 400 at Roma, but he would not take part in another Games, with injury depriving him at Tokyo in 1964 and Mexico City four years later. He was out of the sport from 1965-69 but came back to finish second in the AAAs 200 in 1969. Originally a member of Birchfield Harriers, he joined Blackburn Harriers when he moved back north to Burnley, and he overcame injuries to compete in the 1970 Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh where he competed in the individual 400 but failed to make a final that surprisingly contained no British runners. At the time of his death, Malcolm was reported to still hold the Blackburn Harriers 100, 200 and 400 metres records, set more than 50 years earlier.

After ending his competitive career, Yardley was involved locally with Belvedere Sports Club, as trainer of the football team, and Lowerhouse Cricket Club as captain, manager, selector, trainer and member of the committee. He also designed training programmes for members of both clubs. He also helped out several local Football League clubs with training programmes, such as Burnley, Bury, Blackpool, and Rochdale. Yardley also established a local sports shop in the Burnley area in 1967 which was regularly frequented by members of the Burnley football squad.

Personal Best: 400 – 46.6 (1960).


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1960 Summer Olympics Athletics GBR Malcolm Yardley
400 metres, Men (Olympic) 6 h1 r2/4
4 × 400 metres Relay, Men (Olympic) Great Britain 5