The following is an article by George Harrison from his column in the Liverpool Echo on the 27th April 1962 to mark Jack Rimmer’s 84th birthday
The Greatest human running machine ever produced on Merseyside, J.T. (Jack) Rimmer who won the gruelling Olympic Games 4,000 meters steeplechase in Paris in 1900 is 84 today.
He is the oldest living British Olympic champion but I’m sorry to say that ill health in the past year has compelled him to remain indoors at his home, 23 Bingley Road Anfield, Liverpool, where he is cared for by his devoted daughter, Vera.
In his prime as an athlete, Jack Rimmer was well nigh unbeatable. With his slithering slide, scarcely lifting his feet from the ground he won races at every distance from 100yards to 25 miles.
His lanky body was slim to the point of being classed as skinny. They used to say that a strong gust of wind would blow him over.
But his strength and stamina were fantastic. In one Liverpool City Police athletics meeting, Jack was matched against the best miler in each of the seven divisions.
The seven men each raced one mile in opposition to him and seven prizes were given. Jack won the lot.
In other words, he beat in succession the best mile runners at the meeting, and in doing so, don’t forget he himself ran a total of seven miles.
Before an open road race of 20 miles at Glasgow in 1909, the officiating doctor at first refused to pass Jack Rimmer because he considered such an exhaustive test to be too much for his fragile-looking body.
The doctor took great deal of persuading, but finally gave in, although he decleared ” I won’t be responsible for the consequences.”
They tell me I’d have laughed till now if I’d seen the doctors face not long afterwards when he watched the frail streak of lightning from Liverpool break the tape as the winner- half a mile ahead of his nearest rival.
Still Running when over 50
In the 1900 Olympics in Paris, Jack Rimmer was one of the British team of three- the others were A.E Tysoe and C.Bennett- who won the 5,000 metres team race. Bennett was first, Rimmer second and Tysoe third. They followed up with further successes, Tysoe won the 800 metres, Bennett the 1500 metres and Rimmer the steeplechase to keep the flag Jack Rimmer flying high.
At the A.A.A championships prior to the Olympics that year, Tysoe won the 880yards, Bennett the mile and Rimmer the four miles. For this triumph, Jack was awarded a valuable silver trophy which he still possesses.
In 1901 he joined the Liverpool City Police and retired as sergeant 30 years later. He is still President of the famous Sefton Harriers in whose club colours he was running well over the 50 years of age.