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PROTRACK » Pro Running HISTORY » Athlete banned for lead sewn in his spikes (1955 article)

Athlete banned for lead sewn in his spikes (1955 article)

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Looking up some old pro running news and found this rather interesting article. I'd heard the lead in the shoes story before but never knew anyone had actually done it. running trainer&searchLimits=

The Runner who Wept

The Argus
24 November 1955

Len Decker cried himself to sleep the night he was warned off for five years by professional running stewards at Maribyrnong three weeks ago, a trainer said yesterday.

Ray Bolam, who trained Decker last season, told this to a Victorian Athletic League council meeting.

"Decker is a good, boy, but he overrated himself as a sprinter," Bolam said.

"When I was his trainer, I told him he would be lucky to win a gift."

Warned off
Decker was warned off all professional running courses after stewards found nearly half a pound of lead sewn into each of his running spikes.

Bolam was called before the V.A.L. meeting to answer allegations that he was Decker's trainer at the time of his disqualification. Bolam denied the allegations, and signed a sworn declaration that he was not Decker's trainer this season.

Although Bolam admitted he drove Decker to the track, he said he knew nothing of the lead in the spikes.

Last edited by Admin on Fri Oct 14, 2016 10:08 am; edited 2 times in total


Hi there.

Len Decker is my grand father who passed away in 1996. Sad story indeed. The trainer however had a lot more to do with it then he lead on. Ive got Len's spikes in my room.

The Morphy Mongrel

ProTrack Star
ProTrack Star

With trainers like this Bolam guy for a friend, who needs enemies!

You still have those spikes? Do they have lead inserts or any evidence lead has been in them?

Be a great collectors item for the Stawell HOF.

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