Doug Wilson, the former Olympic runner who became athletics correspondent for the News of the World, died in Winchester on Monday. He was 90.
After war service, Wilson competed for Britain in the 1,500 metres at the 1948 London Olympics, before going on to cover four more Games as a sports journalist.
The former middle distance champion – he won the AAA Mile title in 1946, and reached the final of that year’s European championships 1,500 metre – was well known, as a journalist, for always being encouraging and helpful of all youngsters reporting athletics for the first time.
Doug rose to become the News of the World‘s advertising manager, retiring from the company in 1985.
He then moved to become the press officer for the Sports Aid Foundation, a position he held until 1993 before retiring again.
For the past 17 years, Wilson had been a hard-working editor of The Olympian, the magazine which goes to all Britons who have represented the country at the Games. Wilson died at 4pm on October 18, exactly at the time that a meeting was being held in London to plan the next issue of the magazine, to which he had given so much time and energy.
Wilson always retained his enthusiasm for the Olympic ideal. Interviewed by the BBC two years ago, he called for the 2012 London Games to try to restore the proper Olympic spirit.
“London should go back to basics, the simplicity of the Games,” he said. “They should make it more idealistic and not just nation against nation. They should try to put over the Olympic ideal.”