Jack Hatfield

Born: John Gatenby Hatfield was born in Great Ayton on 15th August 1893. His parents were Thomas and Hannah Hatfield

Educated: Jack Hatfield attended the Wesleyan School on Corporation Road in Middlesbrough.

Married: Jack Hatfield married Elsie Darley.

Family: Jack and Elsie had four sons, Jack, Thomas, Peter and Richard. Three of them continued to run their father’s sports shop after his death.

Home:  Jack spent most of his life in Middlesbrough.

Known for: Jack Hatfield represented Great Britain in swimming at the Olympic Games at Stockholm in 1912. There he broke the world record in the 400 metres freestyle and the 1500 metres freestyle and won two silver medals and a bronze. No other British swimmer won an Olympic medal until 1964. Between 1912 and 1914 Jack Hatfield broke five world records, but the First World War interrupted his career and he spent four years in the Royal Artillery in France. He represented his country at three further Olympics: Antwerp 1920, Paris 1924 and Amsterdam 1928. He also played water polo for England in the European championships. In 1930 he was captain of the English team at the first Empire Games (later the Commonwealth Games), which were held in Canada. In 1912 Jack Hatfield opened a sports shop in Middlesbrough, which he ran until his death in 1965.

Died: Jack Hatfield died on 30th March 1965. Three of his sons continued to run his sports shop in Middlesbrough after their father’s death. 

Further Information:  “Teesside’s Sporting Greats” Eric Paylor and John Wilson (2000)