British Sports Hall of Fame 1939: Malcolm Campbell, Evie Pinching, Wavell Wakefield and Harold Whitlock

My choices to enter the British Sports Hall of Fame in 1939 are

Malcolm Campbell (Motor Sport), – one of the most famous figures in motor sport in the 1920s and 1930s. He set world land speed and water speed records in his vehicles named Bluebird. The first of these was the land speed record in 1924 when he went at 146 mph. He went on to set eight more land speed records with the final one in 1935 when he became the first man to exceed 300 mph in an automobile. He then turned his attention to the water spped record and broke the record four times between 1937 and 1939 at a speed of 141 mph. He competed in motor racing and won the Grand Prix de Boulogne in 1927 and 1928.

Evie Pinching  – the first British woman to win a world title at skiing when she won the championships in downhill and combined in 1936.  She came second in the slalom discipline at the same championships.

Wavell Wakefield (Rugby Union) – the former record holder for most caps by an England player in international rugby. He appeared for England 31 times from 1920 to 1927 and was captain on 13 occasions. He led England to back-to-back Grand Slams. He helped revolutionise the role of the back row forward. Prior to Wakefield their role was mainly static. Wakefield’s athleticism enabled him to play a more dynamic role: pressuring the opposition half backs in defence and supporting the attacks of the three quarters.  He played for Harlequins 136 times and scored 51 tries between 1919 and 1930.  He also played for Leicester scoring ten tries.

Harold Whitlock (Athletics) – one of Britain’s most durable international athletes.  He competed at the top level for nearly twenty years.  He set a world record for the 30 mile walk in 1935 and that year was the first man to walk from London to Brighton in under eight hours.  The following year he won the Olympic title at the 50 km walk.  The War interrupted his career in athletics but afterwards he resumed it and competed internationally until 1952 when he came 11th in the Olympics aged 48, which made him Britain’s oldest ever international competitor.

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