Arthur Robertson (athlete)

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Arthur Robertson
Personal information
Birth name Arthur James Robertson
Born (1879-04-19)19 April 1879
Died 18 April 1957(1957-04-18) (aged 77)
Country Great Britain
Sport Running
Club Birchfield Harriers
Achievements and titles
Olympic finals 1908

Arthur James Robertson (19 April 1879 – 18 April 1957) was a Scottish track and field athlete who competed at the 1908 Summer Olympics in London. At that event he was the gold medallist in the 3-mile team race and a silver medallist in the steeplechase. He was born in Sheffield, Yorkshire and died in Peterborough, Huntingdonshire.

The son of a Glasgow doctor, Robertson was educated at Kelvinside Academy, Glasgow before moving to King's School, Peterborough at the age of 14. A brilliant all-round sportsman, he initially concentrated on cycling and only took up serious athletics at the age of 25, after a cycling injury.[1]

In 1906, he joined Birchfield Harriers.[1]

In March 1908 he won both the English and International Cross-Country Championships and a second-place finish in the 4 mile race at the AAA championship earned him a place at the Olympics.

Robertson won easily in the first round of the 3200 metres steeplechase, finishing in 11:10.0. In the final, he trailed for most of the race. At the bell, he passed one of the two then-leaders, American John Eisele. Robertson was not quite able to catch the other leader, however, and trailed fellow Briton Arthur Russell by two yards at the finish. His final time was 10:48.4. At the same Olympics he won gold as a member of the 3-man 3 mile team race; the first Olympic gold won by a Scottish man[1] and the first by a Birchfield athlete.[1] He also participated in the five miles event and finished fifth. His brother D.C. Robertson was a member of the British cycling team at the same olympics.[1]

He retired from athletics after 1909 season and returned to cycling.

He was posthumously inducted into the Scottish Sporting Hall of Fame in 2004.[1] In January 2010, a new J D Wetherspoon pub in Perry Barr, Birmingham (close to Perry Barr Stadium, the former home of Birchfield Harriers) was named 'The Arthur Robertson' in his honour.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Philpotts, Chris (8 October 2010). "Pub runs with hero's reputation for unexpected triumphs". Great Barr Observer (Birmingham: Central Independent News & Media Ltd.). pp. 4–5.