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Abrahams, Harold Maurice (1899–1978), athlete and civil servant, was born at 30 Rutland Road, Bedford, on 15 December 1899, the youngest in the family of two daughters and four sons of Isaac Klonimus (1850–1921) of Vladislavovka in Russian-occupied Poland and his wife, Esther Isaacs...

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Harold Maurice Abrahams (1899–1978) by A. R. Coster, 1924 [after winning the 100 yards at the AAA championship at Stamford Bridge, London, on 21 June 1924] Getty Images – A. R. Coster

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Alexander, William Whiteway (1852–1933), athletics administrator, was born on 3 December 1852 at Park Hill Farm, Andover, Hampshire, the younger son of James Whiteway Alexander (b. 1821/2), who later became an inn-keeper. Most of his boyhood was spent on the Isle of Wight...

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Anstey, Rhoda (1865–1936), promoter of women's physical education, was born at Jurishayes Farm near Tiverton, Devon, on 15 April 1865, the seventh of nine children and second daughter of John Walters Anstey, a yeoman farmer, and his wife, Susanna Elizabeth, née Manley. She was a natural countrywoman with a great love of the county of her birth; in 1891 she was managing the dairy on the family farm. Little else is known of her early life before she attended ...

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Anthony, Donald William James [Don] (1928–2012), athlete, sports administrator, and historian, was born at 43 Middle Ope, Watford, on 6 November 1928, the son of George Anthony, bricklayer, and his wife, Annie Eva, née Starkey. Educated at Watford grammar school, he excelled at sport, playing for ...

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William Reuben Applegarth (1890–1958) by unknown photographer, 1912 © Popperfoto/Getty Images

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Applegarth, William Reuben [Bill] (1890–1958), athlete, was born at 3 Union Street, Guisborough, Yorkshire, on 11 May 1890, the son of Henry Applegarth, a journeyman grocer, and his wife, Harriet, née Bulmer. Soon after his birth the family moved to Kentish Town, London...

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Bailey, Emmanuel McDonald [Mac] (1920–2013), athlete, was born on 8 December 1920 in the village of Hard Bargain, Williamsville, Trinidad. He was educated at Tranquility Boys' School in Port of Spain (of which his father, Charles McDonald Bailey, was headmaster) and Queen's Royal College for Boys...

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Emmanuel McDonald Bailey (1920–2013) by unknown photographer, 1952 ANL / Rex Features / Shutterstock

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Bennett, Charles (1870–1948), athlete, the third son and fifth child of Henry Bennett and his wife, Peggy Kerley, was born on 28 December 1870 on a farm at Shapwick, near Wimborne, Dorset, where his father worked as a labourer. Nothing is known of his childhood; he later worked as a railway engine driver at ...