Eric Liddell (1902 –1945) was a Scottish athlete, rugby union international player, and missionary, who chose his ideals over competing in the 100 metre Olympic heats where he was favoured to win a Gold medal.
Committed to his religious ideals, Liddell withdrew from his strongest event at the 1924 Summer Olympics in Paris, as the heats were held on Sunday. Instead he competed in the 400 metres held on a weekday, a race that he won.
His refusal to compete on that Sunday meant he had also missed the Olympic 4 x 400 relay, in which Britain finished third. Shortly after the Games, his final leg in the 4 × 400 metres race in a British Empire vs. USA contest helped secure victory over the Olympic gold-medal winning Americans.
Liddell left behind his sporting career in 1925 to serve as a missionary teacher in China where he resided until his death in a Japanese civilian internment camp in 1945.
Liddell's Olympic story and that of fellow team mate Harold Abrahams was depicted in the Oscar winning 1981 film ‘Chariots of Fire’.
As a man of conviction and character, we salute Eric Liddell with our new ‘Baton’ sock design.