Ken Matthews

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This article is about Ken Matthews the English race walker. For the Australian public servant, see Ken Matthews (public servant).
Ken Matthews
Medal record
Men’s Athletics
Competitor for  Great Britain
Olympic Games
Gold medal – first place 1964 Tokyo 20 km Walk
European Championships
Gold medal – first place 1962 Belgrade 20 km Walk

Kenneth ("Ken") Joseph Matthews, MBE (born 21 June 1934 in Birmingham) is a retired race walker from England, who won the Olympic and the European title in the men's 20 km walk during his career.

At the 1964 Summer Olympics, Matthews won the 20 kilometres walk in a new Olympic record of 1hr 29min. 34 sec. He was the only one of the four gold medallists from Great Britain who did not receive an MBE soon afterwards in recognition of his achievement. Following a public outcry, he was belatedly awarded an MBE in 1978.[1] He also competed at the 1960 Summer Olympics.

In 1962 Matthews had won the European title[1] in Belgrade, and consequently was one of the favourites to win the Olympic title, which he did by 1min. 39sec. from Dieter Lindner. Matthews twice won the Lugano Trophy (1961 and 1963).

In 2007, he was the guest of honour at Hawarden High School for the Year 11 Record Of Achievement.

In 2011, he was inducted into the England Athletics Hall of Fame.

Matthews now lives in Acton Park, Wrexham.

To compete in the Tokyo Olympics, Matthews had to take unpaid leave from his job, something today's sports fans might find unbelievable