Page last updated at 18:39 GMT, Sunday, 28 June 2009 19:39 UK

Oldest UK Olympian dies aged 100

Godfrey Rampling
Godfrey Rampling had celebrated his 100th birthday last month

Britain's oldest Olympian Godfrey Rampling, who won medals at the 1932 and 1936 Games in Los Angeles and Berlin, has died at the age of 100.

Mr Rampling celebrated his 100th birthday in May with actress daughter Charlotte Rampling and other relatives.

A member of staff at his care home in Bushey, Hertfordshire, said on Sunday that he died in his sleep on 20 June.

A 400m runner, he was a member of the Great Britain 4x400m relay teams which won silver in 1932 and gold in 1936.

In 1932 he anchored the 4x400m relay team to silver behind the US.

It's rather like when I was running. The older I get, the slower I get
Godfrey Rampling, in an interview in May

Four years later he ran a superb second leg to overtake his American rivals and help secure gold for his team.

Mr Rampling narrowly missed out on individual medals at both Games, but won gold in the 440 yards at the British Empire Games in 1934.

Born in Blackheath, south-east London, he spent 29 years in the Royal Artillery before retiring with the rank of colonel in 1958.

Linda Simpson, clinical manager at the nursing home where Mr Rampling lived, said: "He was a lovely gentleman, he was a true gentleman and he will be truly missed."

Godfrey Rampling
Rampling ran alongside Fred Wolff, Bill Roberts and Arthur Brown in Berlin

On his 100th birthday on 14 May he was welcomed to his party by trumpeters from the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery.

The British Olympic Association was among those which offered its congratulations to Mr Rampling on his century.

"As our oldest living Olympic gold medallist his achievements both on the track, at the 1932 and 1936 Olympic Games, and off the track during his time in the Royal Artillery, are much to be proud of," a spokeswoman said.

In an interview with the Independent newspaper the week before his birthday, Mr Rampling said: "How old did you say I am? A hundred next week? Really? Are you sure? Good Lord, I'm surprised anyone remembers. How nice.

"These days it's rather like when I was running. The older I get, the slower I get."

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