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Doncaster Features: Famous Doncastrian: Arthur Rowe

Arthur Rowe was born in Barnsley on 17th August 1936.

Arthur became the Commonwealth and European shot champion in 1958, Rowe was England's first truly world-class thrower. He set 15 British records, from 16.94m in 1958 to 19.56 in 1961; five of these were also European records, and he was AAA champion each year 1957-61.

Sadly he ended his amateur athletics career on the edge of greatness at the age of 25 when he signed to play professional rugby league for Oldham. Little came of that, but he enjoyed much success for many years on the Scottish Highland Games circuit as a thrower, being proclaimed world caber-tossing champion in 1970.

Always a hell raiser, Rowe was one of the most controversial amateurs ever to putt a shot. Instead of appearing at important a.a.a. meetings he would go to minor meetings and, contrary to all amateur rules, often took back-handers for appearances.

When Rowe was only ten years old he won a 17 1/2p voucher for swimming. A born professional, he cashed the voucher and went to the pictures.

Rowe was a member of Doncaster Plant Works AC, where he had been a blacksmith.

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