Jack Holden (athlete)

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Jack Holden
Jack Holden (athlete).jpg
Holden on the January 1951 cover of World Sports Magazine
Personal information
Born 13 March 1907
Bilston, West Midlands, England
Died 7 March 2004 (aged 96)
Cockermouth, Cumbria, England
Sport Athletics
Event(s) 3 miles – marathon
Club Tipton Harriers
Achievements and titles
Personal best(s) Marathon – 2:31:03.4 (1950)[1][2]

John "Jack" Thomas Holden (13 March 1907 – 7 March 2004) was a long-distance runner from England, who won four consecutive national titles in the marathon (1947–1950). He represented Great Britain at the 1948 Summer Olympics in London, but abandoned the race due to foot blisters. He won the 1950 Empire Games marathon in Auckland, running the last nine miles barefoot after his shoes fell apart during the race.[3]

He was also a successful cross country runner, becoming the first man to win the International Cross Country Championships four times, which he did between 1933 and 1939.[4]

During World War II Holden served with the Royal Air Force. In the 1950s, Coseley Urban District Council named a new road on the Woodcross housing estate Jack Holden Avenue in honour of this local sporting legend. On 23 July 1952, Jack Holden's Gardens were opened on Queens Road, Tipton.[5]

Holden died in March 2004, six days before his 97th birthday. He was survived by daughter Joan and son-in-law Brian.[3]


  1. ^ Jack Holden Archived 30 January 2012 at the Wayback Machine.. sports-reference.com
  2. ^ Jack Holden. trackfield.brinkster.net
  3. ^ a b Marathon and Cross Country legend Jack Holden passes away. IAAF (10 March 2004). Retrieved on 2011-01-27.
  4. ^ International Cross Country Championships. GBR Athletics. Retrieved on 14 February 2011.
  5. ^ Brief History of Tipton. tiptoncivicsociety.co.uk

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