Sports Physician - Athlete 1821-1850

Many doctors were also well-known and successful athletes. This chronological list shows all the succesful we could find, sorted by their date of birth.


In 1844, English rower Thomas Bumpsted (1822-1917) won the since 1830 contested Wingfield Sculls and also the first edition of the Diamonds Challenge Sculls. Both competitions are still contested every year on the river Thames in London. The same year Bumpsted graduated from London St. George's Hospital, but specialized in surgery. He opened a private practice in Cambridge and operated in the Cambridge County Gaol.


Englishman William Falls (1825-1889) and his teammate W. Coulthard, won the 1847 Silver Wherries rowing contest on London's Thames, later renamed the Silver Goblets (in 1850) and the Silver Goblets & Nickalls Cup (since 1895). The race is still contested every year in London. In 1847, Falls graduated at St George's Hospital as a physician / surgeon and started a practice in the London district of Hamsptead in 1849. In 1856 he moved to Bournemouth in southern London, where he became a consultant physician of the Royal Victoria Hospital and St. Mary's Home for Invalid Ladies. He became known as a specialist in thoracic diseases and was chief physician of the Sanatorium for Consumption and Diseases of the Chest.


English surgeon Edward Mills 'E.M.' Grace (1841-1911) played cricket on the highest level. In spite of his amateur status, he was rewarded handsomely. Together with his younger brothers W. G. Grace (1848-1915) and Fred Grace (1850-1880), he was crowned champion of England with the Gloucestershire County Cricket Club in 1873, 1874, 1876 and 1877. Grace married four times and fathered eighteen children.


Between 1871 and 1875 Dawson Turner (1846-1909) was selected six times for the British national rugby team. He played at London club Richmond FC  In 1871 he graduated as a doctor and specialized in gynecology at the London University College Hospital.


The English surgeon William Gilbert 'W. G. Grace (1848-1915), a younger brother of E.M. Grace (1841-1911), played an important role in the development of cricket and is labeled by many historians as the greatest cricketer of all time. Between 1865 and 1908 he played no less than 44 seasons in competition and was head of the British national team, Gloucestershire, The Gentlemen, Marylebone Cricket Club, the United South of England Eleven and various other teams. Although he was medically active, he alledgedly earned more income from cricket despite his amateur status. In addition, he ran the 440 yards hurdles, played football at London Wanderers team and played golf, lawn bowls and curling.


Between 1872 and 1875 James Mackinlay (1850-1917) was selected three times for the English national rugby team. He graduated as a doctor at St. George's Medical School in London.