The history of the Besfords


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Besfords who have been involved in sport.


John Charles Preston (Jack) Besford became British and European swimming champion, and won the British backstroke title seven times from 1927 to 1936.


Ashington F.C. Squad 1949. Willy Lyons front row, end left.

Willy Lyons played for Ashington FC as a part-time professional in the North Eastern League.

Photo of Jack Besford in a football team, either Radcliffe Excelsior or Seaton Hirst Celtic. Jack is in the middle of the back row.

John William (Jack) Besford played centre-forward for Radcliffe Excelsior in the Coquetdale League, and subsequently in the same role for Seaton Hirst Celtic.


Willy Lyons (running as W. Weaver), second from left, breaks the tape to win a race in Hirst Park, Ashington, 1949

Willy Lyons was a professional sprinter.


Ted Besford

Ted Besford played cricket as a wicket-keeper, and went on to be captain and later club secretary of Carlton Cricket Club.

Australian rules football

Ted Besford played for the Fitzroy Football Club in the Victorian Football League between 1939 and 1941.

Boat racing

George Besford (1831-1908) was actively involved in boat racing.


George Besford (1831-1908) took up bowling later in life and was noted amongst other champions.

Sports journalism

Pat Besford (1919-1988) was a leading British sportswriter, who compiled the Encyclopaedia of Swimming.

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