AddThis SmartLayers

Former sports editor tells of historic Olympic success in new book

A former regional daily journalist has written a book about Great Britain’s Olympic football teams of more than 100 years ago.

Martin Jarred, former sports editor of York daily The Press, has penned Torchbearers as the world celebrates the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Torchbearers tells the story of the British teams which claimed the gold medal at both the 1908 and 1912 Games, which were held in London and Stockholm respectively.

Martin, pictured below, now a freelance journalist and sports author, explained the reason for the teams’ success to his former newspaper.

Martin Jarred

He said: “The game was more advanced in Britain generally then than it was in the rest of the world. We had quite a head start.”

However, their success has never been repeated – with the most recent team entered by Great Britain finishing fifth at the 2012 London Games.

Martin added: “As the years went on, the gap between us and the rest just narrowed, and narrowed, and narrowed, and eventually we were overtaken.”

Torchbearers: How Britain’s Footballers Struck Olympic Gold in 1908 and 1912 by Martin Jarred is published by Soccerdata, priced £14.