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Tommy Green: A Sporting Hero

John Simkin

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Tommy Green was born in 1894. He was unable to walk until the age of five because he suffered from rickets. As a teenager Green lied about his age in order to join the British Amy. However, after a horse fell on him he was invalided out of the service. On the outbreak of the First World War he was sent to France as a member of the British Expeditionary Force. He served on the Western Front where he was wounded on three separate occasions. After being badly gassed he was sent home. As his lungs had been damaged by the poisonous gas he was advised to give up all forms of strenuous exercise.

In 1925, he helped William Lowings, a blind walker from Eastleigh, to train for a race being organized by St Dunstans. Green was so good that Lowings persuaded Green that he ought to go in for walking races. He joined the Belgrave Harriers and in 1929 won the first London to Brighton race. This was followed by other wins and in 1932 he was selected to represent Great Britain at the Olympic Games. Although now aged 38 Green won the gold medal in the 50km walk by defeating Janis Dalins by seven minutes.

Maybe this is a story people might want to use in school assemblies.

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