Daley Thompson CBE

Francis Morgan Ayodele “Daley” Thompson was born on 30th July 1958 in Notting Hill, London. From 7 years of age, he attended Farley Close Boarding School at Bolney in Sussex.


Daley really wanted to be a professional footballer but trained as a sprinter during his school days and won the 1975 Senior 200m title for London Schools.

Meteoric rise

Image credit: Mark Shearman MBE – Athletics Images

It was in 1975 that Daley took part in (and won) his first decathlon, the Welsh Championships with 6,523 points. Only 2 months later he improved by 322 points in winning the AAA U20 title. In 1976, at only 17, he won his only AAA Decathlon title with a score of 7,517 points. He spent his 18th birthday competing at the 1976 Montreal Olympics where he finished 18th. The next year he won the European Junior Decathlon title and then broke through the 8,000 point barrier.

For the next 8 years Daley was unbeatable as he won the inaugural World Championship decathlon and Olympic, European and Commonwealth titles twice each. Between 1980 and 1984 he broke the world record 4 times. His world record points total of 8,847, when winning the Olympic title in 1984 in Los Angeles, remains the UK record.

Medal haul

  • 1980 Olympic Games decathlon gold, 1984 Olympic Games decathlon gold
  • 1983 World Championships decathlon gold
  • 1978 European Championships decathlon silver, 1982 European Championships decathlon gold, 1986 European Championships decathlon gold, 1986 European Championships 4x100m-bronze
  • 1978 Commonwealth Games decathlon gold, 1982 Commonwealth Games decathlon gold, 1986 Commonwealth Games decathlon gold, 1986 Commonwealth Games 4x100m-silver
  • 2 AAA titles (1976 decathlon and 1977 long jump)

Other awards

  • MBE in 1983, CBE in 2000
  • BBC Sports Personality of the Year in 1982

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