Donna Hartley
Medal record
Women’s athletics
Representing  Great Britain
Olympic Games
Bronze medal – third place 1980 Moscow 4x400 m relay
Representing  England
Commonwealth Games
Gold medal – first place 1978 Edmonton 400 m
Gold medal – first place 1978 Edmonton 4x400 m relay

Donna Hartley-Wass MBE, born Donna-Marie Louise Murray and formerly known as Donna Hartley (1 May 1955[1] – 7 June 2013[2]), was a British athlete.


Hartley was born in Southampton, England in 1955. She was a south of England sprint champion, and won the AAA's 200 metres in 1972 then the 400 metres in 1975. In 1977 she was U.K. 400 metres champion. In 1977, she married fellow athlete Bill Hartley. The marriage later ended in divorce.

In 1978, Hartley won two Commonwealth gold medals in Edmonton, Canada, where she won the 400 metres,[3] and the 4x400 relay. In 1979, she was European cup semi finalist winner in both 400, and 400 relay again. She also was runner up in European cup finals in 1975, and 1977 in 400, and 400 relay again. Sponsored by the Midland Bank, Worked in Liverpool. In 1980, she competed at the Moscow Olympic Games where she won a bronze medal in the 4 x 400 relay.[1]

Later life

After retiring from athletics Hartley married Robert Wass, better known as comedian and actor Bobby Knutt. As Donna Hartley-Wass, she competed for several years on the UK women's body building circuit, winning the National Amateur Body Building Association's Miss Britain Physique trophy in 1988, having placed third the previous year.[4] Her bodybuilding career was short-lived and for several years after that she ran a line dancing school in Sheffield near the family home. Hartley-Wass featured on the front cover of Health & Strength magazine.[5]

Hartley trained at a Sheffield health studio jointly owned by Bobby Knutt. Under the guidance of the health studio owner and ex-Sheffield Wednesday coach Tony Toms, Hartley achieved national success very quickly on the women's bodybuilding circuit.

She died while sunbathing in her back garden on 7 June 2013, being discovered by her husband of 26 years.[2]



  1. ^ a b "Donna Hartley". British Olympic Association. Retrieved 25 January 2009.
  2. ^ a b "Former GB Olympian Donna Hartley-Wass dies aged 58". BBC Sport. Retrieved 9 June 2013.
  3. ^ "COMMONWEALTH GAMES MEDALLISTS - ATHLETICS (WOMEN)". GBR Athletics. Retrieved 25 January 2009.
  4. ^ Hartley record at Musclememory
  5. ^ Magazine Cover