Dick Tayler


12 August 1948




A Harriers Club in Otago

Perhaps no New Zealander is quite so inextricably linked to one performance as Dick Tayler.

Arriving at the 1974 Commonwealth Games in Christchurch, Tayler has a reputation as a quality athlete but one who had yet to translate that promise on to the big stage.

But on the opening day of the programme at the QEII Stadium he enjoyed the race of his life to claim a thrilling come-from-behind 10,000m gold medal and secure one of New Zealand’s athletics most iconic victories.

Born on a potato farm in South Canterbury, Dick was an active child who every day biked the ten-mile round trip from the family farm to primary school in Temuka.

Yet it was after he started life at Timaru Boys’ High School – the former school of 1936 Olympic 1500m champion Jack Lovelock and 1938 Commonwealth Games 880yd gold medallist Pat Boot – when his sporting journey really began.

His first passion was rugby, where he played on the wing for the first XV, but he was also a ...