Douglas McNicol

Biographical information

Full nameDouglas Frank•McNicol
Used nameDouglas•McNicol
Nick/petnamesLiitle Mac
Born11 September 1885 in Chelsea, Greater London, England (GBR)
Died29 October 1914 in Brighton, Brighton and Hove, England (GBR)
AffiliationsPolytechnic Harriers, Westminster (GBR) / Thames Valley Harriers, London (GBR)
NOC Great Britain


Douglas McNicol was a major attraction from the day he made his début with Thames Valley Harriers as a 16-year-old, and at 19 he finished second in the 1905 AAAs four miles. He was a success at distances from 880 yards to seven miles, but it was as a half- and one-miler that he made his mark.

In 1910 McNicol was third in the AAAs 880 behind Ireland’s James Hill, and Eddie Owen, and in 1911 he won the mile title, winning by two yards from Canada’s Jack Tait. That year saw McNicol also win the mile titles of Scotland, the Midlands, and London. He retained his Scottish title in 1912 and was the Scottish 880 champion in 1913. McNicol was selected for the 1912 Stockholm Olympics after finishing second in the trial at Stamford Bridge. He accepted a business appointment in June 1912, however, which prevented him from going to Stockholm.

When World War I broke out McNicol was working as a chartered accountant in Nottingham and joined the local Sherwood Foresters. In 1914 he was in perfect health whilst at Shoreham Camp in Sussex, but on 29 October 1914 he was struck with acute pneumonia and died later that same day after being admitted to Brighton Hospital. He was only 29 at the time.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1912 Summer Olympics Athletics GBR Douglas McNicol
1,500 metres, Men (Olympic) DNS