Guy Butler (athlete)

Guy Montagu Butler (25 August 1899 – 22 February 1981) was a British sprinter, winner of the gold medal in the 4 × 400 m relay at the 1920 Summer Olympics. With four Olympic medals Guy Butler shares the British record for the number of medals in athletics with Sebastian Coe[3] and Mo Farah.

Guy Butler
Guy Butler 1926b.jpg
Guy Butler in 1926
Personal information
Born25 August 1899
Harrow, Great Britain
Died22 February 1981 (aged 81)
St Neots, Huntingdonshire, England
Alma materUniversity of Cambridge
Event(s)200 m, 400 m
ClubUniversity of Cambridge
Achilles Club
Achievements and titles
Personal best(s)200 m – 21.7 (1927)
400 m – 48.0 (1924)[1][2]

Butler was born in Harrow, Middlesex, to Edward Montagu Butler and Gertrude Mary Fair. He was the grandson of academic Henry Montagu Butler and nephew of Sir James Ramsay Montagu Butler and Sir Nevile Butler.[4]

He attended the prestigious Harrow School, the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, and Trinity College, Cambridge. His father also attended Harrow and competed in cricket and athletics at the national level. At the Antwerp Olympics in 1920, Butler won the silver medal in the individual 400 m and anchored the British 4 × 400 m relay team to a gold medal in 3:22.2. At the 1924 Summer Olympics, he won bronze in the 400 m and again anchored the British 4 × 400 m relay team, this time winning bronze in 3:17.4. In 1928 he became the first British track and field athlete to compete in three Olympics; he reached a 200 m quarterfinal, and retired shortly thereafter.[1]

Butler won the British AAA Championships in 440 yd (400 m) in 1919 and in 220 yd (200 m) in 1926. He also ran the 300 yd (270 m) world record of 30.6 in 1926.[1]

In retirement, Butler was a schoolmaster, then an athletics journalist, and a pioneer of filming athletes in action. He contributed to the design of the White City Stadium and worked as the athletics correspondent for The Morning Post until it was merged with The Daily Telegraph in 1937.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d Guy Butler. Sports Reference. Retrieved on 19 June 2015.
  2. ^ Guy Butler.
  3. ^ "Guy Montagu Butler". British Olympic Association. Archived from the original on 30 September 2007. Retrieved 4 July 2012.
  4. ^ Vamplew, Wray (2012). "Butler, Guy Montagu (1899–1981), athlete". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/65162. Retrieved 16 February 2019. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)