Search

Death of Olympic historian Ian Buchanan

PUBLISHED: 08:46 12 April 2008 | UPDATED: 08:55 13 July 2010

One of the foremost Olympic historians and a Norfolk man for the best part of 20 years, Ian Buchanan has died at the age of 76.

A co-founder of the International Society of Olympic Historians (ISOH) and its president from its founding in 1991 to 2000, his proudest moment came with the presentation to him of the Olympic Order in Silver by International Olympic Committee president Juan Antonio Samaranch in 1997.

One of the foremost Olympic historians and a Norfolk man for the best part of 20 years, Ian Buchanan has died at the age of 76.

A co-founder of the International Society of Olympic Historians (ISOH) and its president from its founding in 1991 to 2000, his proudest moment came with the presentation to him of the Olympic Order in Silver by International Olympic Committee president Juan Antonio Samaranch in 1997.

Mr Buchanan was born in Yorkshire in 1932 and from his earliest days was a sports fan.

He twice ran in the English Schools half mile for Sussex while at Hastings Grammar School and also played rugby, which was his favourite spectator sport. He attended the 1948 Olympics in London where his love of athletics and the Olympics blossomed.

He became a member of London Athletics Club and became close friends with Ross and Norris McWhirter, the twin brothers who founded the Guinness Book of Records.

His interest in athletics and statistics saw him take membership of worldwide body the Association of Track and Field Statisticians and of Britain's National Union of Track Statisticians.

Mr Buchanan worked with the McWhirters on the 1957 British Athletics Record Book and its subsequent update in 1958, a booklet which provided the first ever in depth all-time rankings for British athletes.

Many other written works were completed across years of fascination with Olympic statistics and Mr Buchanan is said to have considered his Who's Who of UK and GB International Athletes 1896-1939 as an especially proud achievement.

Away from the books, Mr Buchanan sponsored a group of Olympic historians to meet in 1991 at a pub in Hammersmith, London, and there the International Society of Olympic Historians (ISOH) was formed.

Mr Buchanan became the first president of ISOH, guided the society through its formative years and helped the group achieve official recognition by the International Olympic Committee.

A business career with Mercantile and General Reinsurance Company took him to London, South Africa, Manila and Hong Kong.

His retirement in 1989 saw him move to a cottage in Burgh-next-Aylsham, although his working life was by no means over.

He travelled to the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta as a special correspondent for the EDP and was invited by the Olympic Committee to the 2000 Games in Sydney.

Locally he took roles at North Walsham Rugby Club, including vice president and membership secretary. In this latter role he was credited with virtually trebling the membership list over nearly ten years, for which he was awarded life membership of the club.

Mr Buchanan's wife Jeanne and two children, James and Joanna, survive him.

t service of thanksgiving will be held at St Mary's Church, Burgh, on April 18 at 2pm.

Other popular content

Yesterday, 14:13

A drink driver who was caught on the first day of the annual festive crackdown almost five times the limit has been jailed.

Yesterday, 14:28

A £190,000 revamp of a Cromer park has moved a step closer with a planning application now registered with the district council.

Yesterday, 16:44

Campaigners have described transport links at a north Norfolk railway station as “dreadful, frustrating, and appalling” as new figures reveal it gained 10,000 passengers over the past year.

Yesterday, 10:30

The owners of a newly-reopened north Norfolk fishmongers have said they hope to be in business in “50 years and beyond”.

Most Read

Yesterday, 14:13

A drink driver who was caught on the first day of the annual festive crackdown almost five times the limit has been jailed.

Read more
Suffolk police
Yesterday, 14:28

A £190,000 revamp of a Cromer park has moved a step closer with a planning application now registered with the district council.

Read more
North Norfolk District Council
Yesterday, 16:44

Campaigners have described transport links at a north Norfolk railway station as “dreadful, frustrating, and appalling” as new figures reveal it gained 10,000 passengers over the past year.

Read more
Charles Sanders
Yesterday, 10:30

The owners of a newly-reopened north Norfolk fishmongers have said they hope to be in business in “50 years and beyond”.

Read more
Cromer
10:32

A 61-year-old man who is known to visit B&Bs in north Norfolk is wanted on recall to prison for breaching the terms of his licence.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 6°C

min temp: 2°C

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

Image
Read the North Norfolk News e-edition today
E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

North Norfolk News weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy