Bill Roberts
Medal record
Men's athletics
Representing  Great Britain
Olympic Games
Gold medal – first place 1936 Berlin 4×400 metres
European Athletics Championships
Silver medal – second place 1946 Oslo 4x400 metres
Representing  England
British Empire Games
Gold medal – first place 1938 Sydney 440 yards
Silver medal – second place 1934 London 440 yards
Silver medal – second place 1938 Sydney 4×440 yards

William Roberts (5 April 1912 – 5 December 2001) was an English sprinter and winner of gold medal in 4x400 m relay for Great Britain at the 1936 Summer Olympics.[1]

Born in Salford, Lancashire, William Roberts won the British AAA championships in 440 yd (400 m) in 1935 and 1937.

At the 1934 British Empire Games, Roberts finished second in 440 yd (400 m) behind Godfrey Rampling, but turned the silver into the gold medal in the next British Empire Games in 1938 in Sydney, Australia. He also won a silver in 4x440 yd relay event and finished sixth in the 220 yards contest.

At the Berlin Olympics, Roberts just missed the medal in the individual 400-metre event, finishing fourth in the final, and ran the third leg in the gold medal-winning British 4x400 m relay team.

After World War II and service in the RAF, Roberts returned to athletics to win the silver medal as a member of British 4x400 m relay team at the 1946 European Championships.

At the 1948 Summer Olympics, Roberts was chosen as Great Britain's athletics team captain, but he was eliminated in the heats of the 400-metre event and anchored the British relay team to a fourth place in their heat of the 4×400-metre competition.

After his retirement from athletics in 1949, he worked as a columnist for the Manchester Evening News. William Roberts died in Timperley, Manchester, aged 89.

Competition record

Year Competition Venue Position Event Notes
Representing  Great Britain
1948 Olympics London, United Kingdom 4th, Heat 2, Round 2 400 m 48.6


  1. ^ Evans, Hilary; Gjerde, Arild; Heijmans, Jeroen; Mallon, Bill; et al. "Bill Roberts". Olympics at Sports Reference LLC. Archived from the original on 18 April 2020. Retrieved 23 July 2017.