“He was a dedicated and knowledgeable coach, a great thinker, and above all, a decent man. He will be greatly missed by many.”
Sally Gunnell became the golden girl at the Barcelona Olympics with her 400m hurdles win. A year later she became World Champion and smashed the world record. Her fierce competitiveness and sunny personality on screen have made her a household name.
Sally revealed how it felt to win Olympic gold, the pressure at the top, how she banished self doubt and why she’s looking forward to watching the wildcard winners at London 2012.
“Bruce Longden, one of the best coaches this country has ever produced. It was an honour to have you in my life.”
Thompson, born to a Nigerian father (from where his name Daley derives) and Scottish mother, went to a boarding school in Sussex from the age of seven, and when he was 14, he was introduced to his local athletics club, Haywards Heath Harriers, by his headmaster.
It was the start of something special. He made an immediate impression, and the following summer he was fourth in the English Schools Intermediate 200m. Thompson returned to London on leaving school and joined Newham & Essex Beagles where, yet again, eye-catching performances were instant and it was not long before he was on top of the podium when he won the 60m gold at the AAA Junior Championships in 1975. He was only 16.