British Sports Hall of Fame 1946: Cliff Bastin, Jack Beresford, Jimmy Foster and Sydney Wooderson

My choices for the British Sports Hall of Fame for 1946 are:

Cliff Bastin (Football) – a brilliant left winger who was integral to the Arsenal team which won five English championships between 1931 and 1938. He also won two FA Cups with the first of those coming in 1930 aged 18. This made him the youngest player in a Wembley Cup Final, a record that stood for 34 years. He played 21 times for England from 1931 to 1938, scoring 12 goals. He played for Arsenal from 1929 to 1946, scoring 150 times in 350 appearances. 32 of these came in the 1932/33 season, a record total for a winger in the First Division. He was Arsenal’s record goal scorer for 58 years.

Jack Beresford (Rowing) – one of Britain’s greatest ever rowers.  He won three Olympic gold medals and two silvers between 1920 and 1936.  His five medals in consecutive Games was a feat unmatched by any rower for sixty years.  His first medals were at single sculls with silver in 1920 and gold in 1924.  He followed this with silver in eights in 1928 before winning golds in Coxless Fours in 1932 and Double Sculls in 1936.  At the Henley Regatta he won the Diamond Sculls four times with three of those coming in succession from 1924 to 1926.  He won three other titles at Henley between 1928 and 1939, when he was forty. He won the Wingfield sculls seven consecutive times from 1920 and went on to manage the British rowing team.

Jimmy Foster (Ice Hockey) – one of the outstanding goalkeepers of his era.  He was an amateur but was better than most of the professionals.  In Canada he achieved two successive shut-outs in the Allan Cup Finals of 1931 and 1932 and set a record of 417 minutes without conceding a goal.  His crowning achievement came at the 1936 Olympics when he conceded only three goals in seven matches as part of the winning British team that included many Canadian based players.  The only time Great Britain won the Olympic title.

Sydney Wooderson (Athletics) – one of the world’s outstanding middle distance runners on either side of World War II who was denied some of his best years by the War.  He won European Championships at 1500m in 1938 and 5000m in 1946, where he recorded the second fastest time ever.  He had set world record for the 800m/880 yards in 1938 and the mile in 1937 with a time of 4:06.4.  He missed out on running in the 1936 Olympics due to injury when he would have been one of the favourites for the title.  He also set a world best for 3/4 mile in 1939.


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