The Lou Marsh Legacy - Honouring Canada's Top Athletes

Bob McFarlane

Football, Track & Field

1950


Photograph of Robert McFarlane at a track race

Photograph of Robert McFarlane at a track race

Date
Late 1940’s – early 1950’s
Collection
Courtesy of the family of Robert McFarlane

Let’s Do it All!

Dr. Robert “Bob” McFarlane left his mark as a pioneer in hand surgery and was considered a giant in the history of Canadian plastic surgery. But not before he stormed through the athletics department at The University of Western Ontario while attending medical school there from 1946 to 1951. One would have to conclude that the strapping six-foot-two McFarlane was a master of time management, finding time to post top marks while stuffing his bookcase with trophies, medals, cups, and plaques from his prolific achievements in both football and track.

1950 truly was a showcase year for this talented and inexhaustible athlete. A powerful backfielder, he led the Intercollegiate Football Union in scoring and helped his University of Western Ontario Mustangs hoist their fourth Yates Cup in five years.

In track and field he ran against the best in the world and demonstrated unbelievable versatility. He set five Canadian records at various distances and beat Olympic gold medalists Mal Whitfield of the United States in an indoor 500 yard meet in Montreal and Arthur Wint of Jamaica in the 400 metres at the Bristish Empire Games. In Canada, Great Britain, Ireland, and Holland McFarlane recorded victories in the 440, 500, 880 and 1000 yards as well as the 300, 400, 600 and 800 metres.

Sensing that Bob would soon leave athletics behind to pursue his surgical career – “Murray McNie, track coach at Western shook his head sadly. “Last year was the first year he tried the half-mile. He’s the only half-miler who can boast he has never been beaten at 880 yards or 800 metres. He’s just at his peak. There is no telling how great a runner he could become”. Perlove, Joe. (1951, February 6). Bob McFarlane of Western Named Winner of Marsh Memorial Trophy. Toronto Daily Star, p. 16.

Bob left his mark in other ways as well…

“Said Jack Crump, Honourary Secretary of the Bristish Amateur Athletic Board, “A great fellow, and a great athlete who leaves a very fine impression of Canadian sportsmanship and Canadian athletics”. Perlove, Joe. (1951, February 6). Bob McFarlane of Western Named Winner of Marsh Memorial Trophy. Toronto Daily Star, p. 16.

Robert McFarlane, a great inspiration, then and now.

Bob McFarlane of Western Named Winner of Marsh Memorial Trophy Adobe PDF Transcript


Highlights

1946, 1947, 1949, 1950
Yates Cup – Ontario University Athletics Football Conference
1947, 1950
John Davies Trophy – Canada’s Top Track Athlete
1948
London Summer Olympic Games – 5th place, 4 x 100 yards
1950
Norton Crowe Memorial Medal – Canada’s Top Amateur Athlete
1950
Lou Marsh Memorial Award
1978
University of Western Ontario Athlete of the Century