W.E.B. Henderson

Walter Edward Bonhote Henderson (1880 – 1944)

Known by the nickname ‘Herkers’, was not only a poet who had published two volumes (you can read his first, in 1908, here) and a novelist (one novel, Behind the Thicket) and short story writer, but also an Olympic athlete – certainly in 1908, when he came eighth in the standing high jump competition, and 1912; in 1920 he won the trials but was not picked. He was a hammer and discus thrower, too, and had set the UK discus record in 1912 (128ft 4½in – not surpassed till 1928). In fact, the striking thing about him was the longevity of his athletic career. He began by representing Oxford against Cambridge in five sports (add the shot put and javelin) between 1900 and 1903, and in 1900, won the high jump. A full 23 years later, he came second in the discus at the AAA championships, and was selected to play for England against France, even though he was over 43. He was one of those rare unfortunates who was reported to have died (in 1943) when he was still alive: The Times obituary said of him that “his classic head and beautifully proportioned body suggested Apollo rather than Hercules”. He worked in the solicitors’ department of the Ministry of Labour.

1933

Wins 174B: 10s 6d
Wins 181A: 10s 6d
Wins 185B: 10s 6d

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