Wednesday, 23 January 2019

A great read - Sydney Wooderson: A Very British Hero

A couple of years back I was following a blog by Rob Hadgraft 'The diary of a clapped out runner'.  Rob was researching a book on Sydney Wooderson.  The research was carried out in conjunction with his 60th birthday challenge to visit and run at 60 places where Sydney had ran during his illustrious career.

I followed Rob's progress with his challenge avidly and looked forward to reading the book.

The book was published last year but due to general circumstances I have only gotten around to reading it now.  Sydney Wooderson: A very British Hero' is a biography of possibly Britain's most popular sportsperson of the 1930's and 40's. 

Wooderson was a small, shy man who was for years the worlds fastest miler.  It was thought by many that he would be the first to break the 4 minute barrier for the mile, if it had not been for the intervention of World War 2.

Every race from schooldays to retirement is brought to life as the book sheds light on an almost forgotten sporting hero.

This book is a great read and I would strongly recommend it to anyone interested in our sport.

2 comments:

Rob Hadgraft said...

Thanks Alan for this positive feedback today! Glad to hear you enjoyed the book.
Sydney Wooderson ran up there in the North-East on a number of occasions, winning but pickin gup a calf injury at Elswick Harriers' litle stadium (the Co-op Welfare Ground) in Cowgate, where somehow 7,0000 paying customers squeezed in! It was in July 1939, just before war broke out and was the fastest Mile ever seen in the North of England to that point - a time of 4 mins 15 secs!

Alan Dent said...

Hi Rob I actually ran the mile there back in about 1969 in a Boy Scouts Athletics meeting in what was possibly the slowest time ever seen there