C12 Bill Brown - Centurions Worldwide Community

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Bill Brown C12
Details about Bill's achievements have been slightly confused over the years.  Fortunately,,  as more results of past races are published online, it has become easier to track the achievements of Centurions.

Initially, Bill was recorded as competing in the 10 mile race at the 1908 Olympics.  However, research shows that Bill competed in the 3,500 metre race walk (however, one source reports that it was a 3,000m walk)
Results show Bill was a member of Polytechnic Harriers and  Surrey Walking Club.
Results show Bill was a member of Polytechnic Harriers and  Surrey Walking Club.
from British Centurion Dave Ainsworth:
Bill was a founder member of the Centurions, qualifying in the 1907 London-to-Brighton-and-Back race over 104 miles - which he completed in 20.38.01 and was awarded the C.12 number.
Bill worked for the Ford Motor Company at their Dagenham factory.  He retired in 1946.
In 1979 he became the first Ford pensioner to reach 100 years.  Dave Ainsworth organised a birthday party for Bill - it was only then when he discovered his athletics past as a respected Centurion.  The Centurions had lost touch with Bill - until Dave re-engaged the link.    At the time of his party (pictured right), Bill never mentioned his Olympic appearance - perhaps because it ended in disqualifaction?

The Surrey Walking Club Gazette  No.3 , 1908  reports that in the Middlesex Walking Club 24 hours track walk at White City Stadium (11-12 September 1908) : "Our member, Bill Brown, led at the start; then Jack Butler (C2) took the lead till the 11th mile..."  Bill finished 23rd with a distance of 81 miles 586 yards.
T.E. Hammond, who won the race, did so with a new world record of 131 mile 580 yards.

William Brown finished 8th in the AAA 2 mile walk in 1908 to earn a place on the Olympic team. On 17-18 September 1909 he demonstrated his talents were better suited to long distances when he set British records at various distances from 51 to 85 miles and various time records from 9 to 15 hours.

Affiliations: Surrey Walking Club, Croydon (GBR)

Tim Erickson reviewed Bill's career - > read on [  pdf]
1908 Olympic Games
Bill was not alone in the 1908 Games...
C2    Jack Butler (Polytechnic Harriers)
3,500m Walk

C10 Tommy Hammond (Surrey Walking Club) 10 Miles Walk

1908 Olympic Games
  • White City Stadium held 68,000 and was considered by some a technological marvel. The stadium track was three laps to the mile (536 metres)
  • The men's 3500 metre walk race was held for the only time at the 1908 Summer Olympics in London. The competition was held on Tuesday, July 14, 1908. It was held in two rounds. There were three heats in the first round, with the top three in each heat advancing to the final. 25 racewalkers from eight nations competed. Countries could enter up to 12 athletes.
  • The men's 10 miles walk race was held at the 1908 Summer Olympics in London. This event was held for the only time. The competition was held on Thursday, July 16, 1908 and on Friday, July 17, 1908. The competition was held in two rounds. There were two heats in the first round, with the top four in each heat advancing to the final. 25 race walkers from eight nations competed.
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