The Lou Marsh Legacy - Honouring Canada's Top Athletes

Bill Crothers

Track & Field


Action photo of track athlete Bill Crothers

Action photo of track athlete Bill Crothers

Canada's Sports Hall of Fame

A Prescription for Success!

Track & Field News ranked Bill Crothers as the number one 800 metre runner in the world in 1963 and 1965, and the second best of that decade.

He clocked the two fastest 880 yard times in the world in 1963 while claiming the Canadian, U.S. and British Indoor Championship as well as the U.S. Outdoor Championship in that distance. He was a winning machine in indoor and outdoor meets all over the world notching additional victories in Ireland, Norway and Sweden. He also added victories in disciplines from the 660 yard to the mile with a heap of 1,000 yard wins.

To put it all into context reveals an even more fascinating story. Bill was tireless in his pursuit to balance a successful and exciting athletic career with his strong academic inclination. He graduated from high school top of the class earning a scholarship to the Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Toronto.

He shared much of his journey with Bruce Kidd who claimed the 1961 Marsh honours. They both trained out of the East York Track Club under Coach Fred Foot and their stories have many similarities. In fact they often embarked together on the busy schedule that this magnificent era in track and field offered. Indoor and outdoor meets were plentiful and growing in numbers and size in the early sixties, often selling out venues of any size.

Bill’s running pedigree meant open invitations to the finest international meets. It was not uncommon to rush out of a class or a lab late in the afternoon on a Friday to fly to a U.S. city for a major indoor meet that evening to compete against the cream of American competitors. Crothers might arrive at a big race one hour before the event while his American counterparts were taking two days off school to arrive early and prepare. And yet, more often than not, he would win. It was unthinkable to the rest of the field.

After graduating in 1963 and taking up his vocation as a Pharmacist, Bill continued to apply his limitless energy, balancing a new career with his running exploits. The best was yet to come and sure enough in 1965 he was unbeatable!

Winners so often expand the very meaning of the word ‘winner’ by applying all of their successful actions and principles universally to everything they do in their lives. Bill Crothers is that just that kind of winner.

Canada’s best Bill Crothers wins Marsh Adobe PDF Transcript


1961 - 1965
National Senior Champion in 440-yard and 880-yard events
Posted two fastest 880-yard times in the world
Lou Marsh Memorial Award
Innsbruck Olympic Games - Silver medal, 800m
Lionel Conacher Trophy
Inducted to the Canadian Olympic Sports Hall of Fame
Commonwealth Games - Silver medal, 800m and 4 x 400m events