Denis Follows

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Sir Denis Follows, CBE (13 April 1908 – 17 September 1983) was a British sports administrator. Between 1962 and 1973 he was Secretary of the Football Association (FA) and from 1977 was Chairman of the British Olympic Association.[1] During his tenure as BOA Chairman, he was instrumental in ensuring that British competitors were able to choose whether or not to compete at the 1980 Moscow Olympics. The BOA had come under government pressure to withdraw the team in protest at the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Follows led the party to Moscow as Team Commandant.He was educated at the universities of London and Nottingham, and was President of the National Union of Students between 1931 and 1933.[2] He was awarded the CBE in 1967 and knighted in 1978.[1]

In January 1970, while serving as the FA secretary, Follows wrote to the Women's Football Association (WFA) to inform them that the 1921 ban on women's football had been rescinded.[3] He was later appointed an honorary life vice president of the WFA.


  1. ^ a b "Sir Denis Follows. Notable services to sport". The Times. 19 September 1983. p. 16. 
  2. ^ Lee Elliot Major (6 March 2002). "Leading the protest". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 December 2009. 
  3. ^ Lopez 2009, p. 57


  • Lopez, Sue (1997). Women on the Ball: A Guide to Women's Football. London, England: Scarlet Press. ISBN 1857270169.