His name appears in the Guinness Book of World Records for holding the most national athletic titles.
McDonald Bailey, who represented England at two Olympic Games, died at his Trinidad home last week just four days short of his 93rd birthday.
The son of a schoolmaster, Bailey held 15 British titles between 1946 and 1953 and his winning times were between 9.6 and 9.8 secs. in the 100-metre event and 21.1 and 21.5 secs. in the 200-metre contest. His 10.2 secs. in Belgrade in the 100-metre dash in August 1951 equalled Jesse Owens’ world record. They held the title jointly for five years.
Unlike most of the Caribbean top athletes at the time who headed to the United States, Bailey went to England and was a member of the Royal Air Force.
Overlooked by Trinidad & Tobago, Bailey represented England in the 1948 Olympics where he finished sixth in the 10-metre dash. He captured a bronze medal four years later in Helsinki and was fourth in the 200-metre event.
After his track career ended, Bailey worked with the Booker Group in London for a year before transferring to Guyana where he headed the company’s athletics and public relations program for nine years.
Bailey returned to Trinidad & Tobago in 1963 and was employed with Shell as a senior sales executive for six years. Following a stint as a freelance writer, Bailey went back to London for a few years before returning to T & T to serve as the National Energy Commission’s sports co-ordinator for five years and then co-ordinator of Sport Aid.
In 1977, Bailey was recognized for his contribution to sport with the Chaconia Gold Medal, the twin-island republic’s second highest national honour.
Bailey is survived by his wife and five children.