Sports

19 Wonderful Truths Revealed About Eric Liddell

1. Aside from two furloughs in Scotland, he remained in China until his 1945 death in a Japanese civilian internment camp.

2. Eric Liddell, often called the “Flying Scotsman” after the record breaking locomotive, was born 16 January 1902, in Tientsin, in north China, the second son of the Rev and Mrs James Dunlop Liddell, who were Scottish missionaries with the London Missionary Society.

3. Liddell went to school in China until the age of five.

4. At the age of six, he and his eight-year-old brother Robert were enrolled in Eltham College, a boarding school in south London for the sons of missionaries.

5. At Eltham, Liddell was an outstanding sportsman, being awarded the Blackheath Cup as the best athlete of his year, playing for the First XI and the First XV by the age of 15, later becoming captain of both the cricket and rugby union teams.

6. His headmaster, George Robertson, described him as being “entirely without vanity”.

7. Liddell became well known for being the fastest runner in Scotland while at Oxford College.

8. Newspapers carried stories of his feats at track meets, and many articles stated that he was a potential Olympic winner.

9. The GSEU hoped that he would draw large crowds to hear the Gospel.

10. The GSEU would send out a group of eight to ten men to an area where they would stay with the local population.

11. In 1920, Liddell joined his brother Robert at the University of Edinburgh to study Pure Science.

12. Athletics and rugby played a large part in his university life.

13. He ran in the 100 yards and 220 yards races for Edinburgh University and played rugby for the University club, from which he gained a place in the backline of a strong Scotland national rugby union team.

14. In 1922 and 1923, he played in seven out of eight Five Nations matches along with A. L. Gracie.

15. In 1923 he won the AAA Championships in athletics in the 100 yards .

16. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree after the Paris Olympiad in 1924.

17. A devout Christian, Liddell refused to run in a heat held on Sunday and was forced to withdraw from the 100-metres race, his best event.

18. The schedule had been published several months earlier, and his decision was made well before the Games.

19. Liddell spent the intervening months training for the 400 metres, though his best pre-Olympics time of 49.6 seconds, set in winning the 1924 AAA championship 440 yards, was modest by international standards.

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