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Harold Allan Wilson (22 January 1885 – 1932) was an English runner. Born in Horncastle Lincolnshire he was a member of the Hallamshire Harriers in Sheffield. He competed at the 1908 Summer Olympics in London and won a team gold in the 3 mile and an individual silver in the 1500 metres race. He was the first man to run a sub four minute 1,500 metres, with a time of 3:59.8 in May 1908.[1][2][3]

Harold A. Wilson
Harold Wilson 1908.jpg
Harold Wilson at the 1908 Olympics
Personal information
Born22 January 1885
Horncastle, Lincolnshire, England
Died1932 (aged 46–47)
South Africa
Height5 ft 4 in (1.63 m)
Weight8 st 3 lb (52 kg)
Event(s)800-5,000 m
ClubHallamshire Harriers, Sheffield
Achievements and titles
Personal best(s)800 m – 1:57.2 (1904)
1500 m – 3:59.8 (1908)
5000 m – 15:32.5 (1908)[1][2]
Mel Sheppard narrowly defeating Wilson in the 1500 metres race in the 1908 Olympics.

At the 1908 Olympics Wilson won his 1500 m semi-final in a time of 4:11.4; his time in the final was 4:03.6, fractions of a second behind Melvin Sheppard.[4] He was also part of Britain's five-man gold medal-winning team in the three-mile race. He was Britain's fourth man home in fifth place overall. His teammates were Archie Robertson, Norman Hallows, Joe Deakin and William Coales.[1]

The following year, Wilson was in Queens, New York, competing alongside Sheppard. He spent the 1909 season in the U.S., and was considered one of the best mile runners. The same year he turned professional and raced in Australia and South Africa. On 29 November 1915 he enlisted as a Private in the West Yorkshire Regiment, serving overseas.[1] He later emigrated to South Africa, where he died in 1932.[5]


  1. ^ a b c d Harold Wilson.
  2. ^ a b Harold Wilson.
  3. ^ The Late Harold Wilson, Star Green 'un, June 11, 1932
  4. ^ 1910 Hassan Cigarettes trading card.
  5. ^ Death of Harold Wilson, Sheffield Daily Telegraph, June 7, 1932

Further readingEdit

  • Cook, Theodore Andrea (May 1909). The Fourth Olympiad London 1908 Official Report (PDF). London: British Olympic Association. Retrieved 29 December 2008.
  • De Wael, Herman (2001). "Athletics 1908". Herman's Full Olympians. Retrieved 30 July 2006.
  • Wudarski, Pawel (1999). "Wyniki Igrzysk Olimpijskich" (in Polish). Retrieved 30 July 2006.