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George Butterfield

George Butterfield

George Butterfield (1879 – 24 September 1917) was a British athlete running for Darlington Harriers. He ran the world's fastest mile in 1906, and competed at the 1908 Summer Olympics in London.

Born in Stockton on Tees, Butterfield came in second in his semifinal heat in the 800 metres with a time of 1:58.9. His finish, while behind Ödön Bodor's, was ahead of defending champion James Lightbody's. Butterfield did not advance to the final.

He also competed in the 1500m, placing third in his initial semifinal heat and not advancing to the final. Butterfield's time was 4:11.8; Mel Sheppard had set a new Olympic record at 4:05.0 in winning the heat and eliminating Butterfield and the other five runners.

Butterfield was killed in action during the First World War, serving as a private with the Royal Garrison Artillery. He was buried in the Birr Cross Roads Cemetery.

His obituary in the Northern Despatch recorded that he had once raced against a greyhound. The dog came second.

Years of Interest

1879 - 1917