Help us improve our website and you could win an English Heritage membership Complete the survey to win! Dismiss

Blue plaques to sporting achievers

Mass, organised sport as we know it today did not exist when the London blue plaques scheme was started by the (Royal) Society of Arts in 1866 - the fledgling Football Association, for example, had been founded just three years earlier. In its early years, the plaques scheme focused on literary and artistic figures, and sporting achievement went unnoticed.

English Heritage took on the London-wide plaques scheme in 1986, since when the number of sporting plaques has risen sharply. Thanks to some inspired public suggestions, and also to collaborative work with Sport England and other bodies, a number of sporting champions have been honoured with one of the famous blue roundels on a London building with which they were once associated.

Blue Plaque recipient Harold Abrahams at his moment of triumph in the 1924 Olympic Games

Blue Plaque recipient Harold Abrahams at his moment of triumph in the 1924 Olympic Games
© Mary Evans Picture Library & Grenville Collins Postcard Collection

Sport, however, remains an under-represented area of the scheme, and more nominations are welcomed. Find out how to propose a blue plaque under the London-wide scheme.

Actor Ben Cross, who played Abrahams in the film Chariots of Fire, with the blue plaque to the Olympic runner’s former coach, ‘Sam’ Mussabini

Actor Ben Cross, who played Abrahams in the film Chariots of Fire, with the blue plaque to the Olympic runner’s former coach, ‘Sam’ Mussabini

Many sporting achievers had no London address, and therefore fall outside the scope of the English Heritage scheme. To view a selection of sporting plaques both in London and outside, visit the Played in Britain website.

You can download the content from these pages on blue plaques to sporting achievers via the PDF on the right hand side of this page.

also of interest

RELATED DOCUMENTS