Len Eyre - Great Britain - 1950 Commonwealth Games 3 miles Gold

Photo/Foto: E. D. Lacey (1922-1976)

Date: 11 July 1953

Click on image to enlarge

      Friday, 27 November 1925
      Sheffield, England. (Died 1986 aged 66)
  • Great Britain

Len EYRE - Great Britain - 1950 Commonwealth Games 3 miles Gold


 By 1950, Len Eyre had developed into one of Britain's leading milers, a status that gained him selection to the two major international championships held during that year. The first was the Auckland Commonwealth Games where Eyre could have easily won the 1 mile final held on 11 February. He took the lead early, but set too fast a pace (59.0sec first lap), and faded in the last lap (66.8sec) to surrender first place to Canadian Bill Parnell. Although Len moved up to the 3 miles/5000m later in his career, it was not a distance which he regularly contested, nor achieved any significant performances at prior to 1950. So it was somewhat of a major surprise, when 4 days prior (7 February) to his narrow 1 mile defeat, Len not only entered the Commonwealth Games 3 mile event, but convincingly won the gold medal! Later that year, during the European summer, Eyre was second in the mile to Bill Nankeville at the national AAA Championships, and then finished a creditable fifth in the 1500m at the European Championships held in Brussels on 27 August. Eyre's only Olympic competition was in 1952 at Helsinki, where he was eliminated in the heats of the 1500m. He subsequently concentrated on longer distances, contesting the AAA Championships 3 miles at White City on 11 July 1953. The event was expected to be an easy victory for UK record-holder Gordon Pirie, who led a breakaway group of three in the middle stages, comprising himself, followed by Eyre (see photo above, number 21) and Fred Green. Len was soon dropped by the other two, but held on to finish third. Eyre's last international competition was in the Great Britain v Sweden match in September 1953, at which he finished 3rd in the 5000m. (Ron Casey)


Men's 1 mile Final. Commonwealth Games 1950
1. William PARNELL   CAN   4.11.0
2. Len EYRE   ENG   4.11.8
3. Maurice MARSHALL   NZL   4.13.2
Men's 3 miles Final. Commonwealth Games 1950
1. Len EYRE   ENG   14.23.6
2. Harold NELSON   NZL   14.27.8
3. Anthony CHIVERS   ENG   14.28.1
Men's 1500m. Final. European Athletics Championships 1950
1. Willem SLIJKHUIS   HOL   3.47.2
2. Patrick El MABROUK   FRA   3.47.8
3. William NANKEVILLE   GBR   3.48.0
4. Ilmari TAIPALE   FIN   3.50.4
5. Leon EYRE   GBR   3.51.0
6. Vaclav CEVONA   TCH   3.51.4
7. Ingvar ERIKSSON   SWE   3.52.4
8. Jean VERNIER   FRA   3.53.2