BBC Home
Explore the BBC
26 December  
Search ON THIS DAY by date
Go back one day Go forward one day  
Front Page |  Years |  Themes |  Witness
About This Site | Text Only
1970: 'Golden girl' of British athletics dies
British Olympic medallist Lillian Board MBE has died after losing her battle against a virulent form of cancer.

Miss Board, who turned 22 on 13 December, died at the Munich University Hospital today, where she was undergoing treatment for bowel cancer.

The athlete's doctor Dr Josef Issels said Miss Board died after a "terrible series of complications".

She entered his controversial clinic in the Bavarian Mountains on 7 November but after a series of setbacks she was transferred five days ago to the hospital in Munich, West Germany.

There she underwent surgery to relieve an intestinal blockage, the third such operation she had had, but she deteriorated shortly afterwards.

The twice European Gold medallist and Olympic silver medallist who helped set four world records on the track, died late in the afternoon after she slipped into a coma on Christmas Eve.

Parents George and Frances, her twin sister Irene and her brother George were at her bedside.

Contribution to sport

Tributes have been flooding in for Miss Board.

The Queen and Prince Philip and Prime Minister Edward Heath are among those who have sent private messages of sympathy to Miss Board's family.

Miss Board ran her final race in June over 800 metres in the Women's AAA Championship at London's Crystal Palace.

Pains forced her to withdraw from Britain's squad for the Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh and tests revealed her illness.

In 1967 she strode from last to first position in Los Angeles for the British Commonwealth to beat the world record holder Judy Bullock over 400 metres.

In the Mexico Olympics in 1968 she was pipped to the winning line in the 400m race by Colette Besson of France, despite recording a British record time of 52.12 seconds.

In 1969, she won the European 800m title as well as anchoring the 4x400 metres relay to a thrilling victory over France against Miss Besson.

Both teams were credited with a world record time of 3:30.8.

Miss Board was awarded an MBE this year for her contribution to sport.

 E-mail this story to a friend


Lillian Board
Lillian Board won several medals at international level


In Context
Lillian Board was born in Durban, South Africa, but came to her family's native England in 1950 and under coaching from her father was a member of the London Olympiades by the age of 12.

It was the start of a sporting legacy which lives on in the charity contributions made in her name.

Money from the Lillian Board Fund, which was raised to help in her fight against illness, was given to cancer research after her death.

An estimated 21,000 was raised and after expenses and bills about 15,000 went to charity.

The Lillian Board trophy was set up and given to the Cancer Research charity by her twin sister.

It is still awarded annually to an individual or team who raise money through an event or feat of physical endurance for charity.

Stories From 26 Dec


 
Search ON THIS DAY by date
Go back one day Go forward one day  

^^ back to top
Front Page |  Years |  Themes |  Witness
©MMVIII | News Sources | Privacy & Cookies Policy