Charlie Booth

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For other people of the same name, see Charles Booth.

Charlie Booth (1 October 1903 – 20 May 2008)[1] was an Australian athlete.


In the 1930s, he was a champion runner who participated in several Stawell Gifts, until a victory in 1939. He was also a fitter and turner apprentice. Booth is widely credited for inventing starting blocks for sprinting races, along with his father.[1]

When he first used his invention in a race, made from a T-bar and a block of wood cut in half, he was disqualified for life. The decision was overturned a few weeks later.[2]

At age 100, Booth gave a rare interview about his long and successful life.[3]

In 2006, the then 102-year-old wanted to run in a special Stawell Gift over-40s race, with the prize being a pig, but in the end he decided against it.[1]


In 2007, he celebrated his 104th birthday with a small private party.[4] Nearly eight months later in May 2008, Booth died at the age of 104.