Olympics history remembered

W.E.Barnett, who won the sprint at the Morpeth Olympics in the 1920s.' 'Picture of  him in his strip for Newcastle United Swifts .
W.E.Barnett, who won the sprint at the Morpeth Olympics in the 1920s.' 'Picture of him in his strip for Newcastle United Swifts .
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AS the countdown continues to the London 2012 Olympics, another piece of the Morpeth Games’ history has emerged.

Patricia Lutman contacted the Herald to show us photographs of her father, William Edgar Barnett, in his athletic days, as well as some of the medals he won.

Mr Barnett won the Curry Cup in 1922/23 when he was 14 years old, and on August 6, 1928, he joined 288 runners for the Morpeth Olympic Games 80 yard dash.

He finished an impressive second, losing out to a Mr Robinson of Bedlington, and won £40.

Later he won the Morpeth Road Race on New Year’s Day and was a member of Newcastle Swifts football team, winning a Division 2 runners-up medal in 1932.

Away from sport, Mr Barnett, who was known as Billy, worked for his father’s fruit and floristry business, B Barnett and Sons in Sandyford, before opening his own business in Jesmond Road.

When his health failed he was unable to be called up during the war and worked as a special police constable, as well as a member of the St John Ambulance Association.

Mrs Lutman said: “My father was a keen athlete and would often talk about it. We still have some of his medals.

“He used to coach me as a runner. We had moved from Newcastle to Dunbar and two nights a week, my father would take me to Edinburgh to run. Scottish Schoolgirl champion was as far as I got.”