Allan Wells

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Edinburgh, Scotland
Birth Sign
Edinburgh, Scotland

Allan Wells is a former British track and field sprinter who won the 100m in the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow, making him one of only three British athletes to do so. Following his Olympic triumph, he won the IAAF Golden Sprints and the IAAF World Cup gold medals the following year. He was one of the quickest sprinters of his generation and won three European Cup gold medals. He was born in Edinburgh and went to Liberton High School for his education. However, as a teenager, he skipped out to complete an engineering apprenticeship. The adolescent has been involved in athletics since he was a child, and he used to be a triple jumper and long jumper. He won the Scottish junior triple jump title in his first season of athletics, in 1970. He took a few years off from athletics to concentrate on his studies as a marine engineer. He returned to sports at the age of 24, and went on to become one of the best European athletes of his generation. He won two gold medals at the Commonwealth Games in 1978, but his greatest achievement came at the Summer Olympics in 1980, when he won gold in the 100m. Due to a doping charge in 2015, he received a lot of media attention.

Childhood and Adolescence

Allan Wipper Wells was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, on May 3, 1952. He attended Fernieside Primary School and later Liberton High School for his early education. As a 15-year-old, he dropped out of school to seek an engineering apprenticeship.
He began his athletic career as a triple jumper and long jumper, having been interested in sports since a young age. He won the Scottish junior triple jump title in 1970, his first season of sports. His engagement in athletics became irregular during the next six years as he focused more on his engineering education.

Career of Allan Wells

At the age of 24, he returned to athletics after completing his studies as a marine engineer. He began concentrating in sprint events in 1976. He won his first of seven outdoor Scottish sprint medals in 1977, when he won the Amateur Athletic Association’s Indoor 60 meters.

1978 was a particularly thrilling year for him. He started the season with a win in the UK 100/200 Championships before heading to Edmonton for the Commonwealth Games, where he finished second in the 100m behind Jamaican Don Quarrie and won gold in the 200m ahead of Guyana’s James Gilkes.

During that time, British athletics was at a low point, therefore Wells’ performance at the Commonwealth Games came as a pleasant surprise to British sports fans.

In 1979, he continued his stellar form by winning the 200m at the European Cup in Turin, Italy. The victory was even sweeter because he got it by defeating Pietro Mennea, the new World record holder, on his home turf. He also placed third in the 100m at the same meet.

He started 1980 off on a strong note by winning the AAA 100m before heading to the Côte d’Azur to complete his preparations for the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games. He ran admirably in Moscow, qualifying for the 100m final and defeating Silvio Leonard of Cuba to win the gold medal. Wells won the oldest Olympic 100 m champion at the time, at the age of 28 years and 83 days. In addition, he took silver in the 200m final.

In 1981, he continued his prolific form with a successful tour of Australia and New Zealand, following which he won the European Cup 100m. After that, he won the 200m at the IAAF Golden Sprints in Berlin and finished second in the 100m to Frenchman Hermann Panzo. In the same year, he won the 100m at the IAAF World Cup in Rome.

In the 1982 Commonwealth Games in Brisbane, Allan Wells won gold medals in the 100 meter and 200 meter dashes. He won his third European Cup title the following year by winning the 200m.

During the mid-1980s, he was plagued by injuries that impeded his athletic career. Despite his health problems, he won the 100/200 double at the Inverness Highland Games in 1987, which was one of his last triumphs. He went on to become a coach after retiring from the sport. He works as a systems engineer as well.

Achievements & Awards

Wells was named Scottish Sports Personality of the Year in 1980.

He is a member of the British Empire’s Order of Merit.

He is a Scottish Sports Hall of Fame inductee.

In 2014, Edinburgh Napier University awarded Allan Wells and his wife Margot an Honorary Doctorate of Science.

Personal History and Legacy

Margot Wells, a Scottish 100/100 hurdles champion who currently works as a fitness consultant, is married to Allan Wells.

His personal bests in the 100m and 200m are 10.11 and 20.21, respectively, and both are Scottish records.

He was the first baton holder for the 2014 Commonwealth Games’ Queen’s Baton Relay, carrying the baton from Buckingham Palace in London.

When a BBC documentary (Panorama: ‘Catch Me If You Can’) unearthed charges of doping by Allan Wells throughout his brilliant athletics career, which began in 1977, a scandal arose in 2015. Wells was allegedly given the anabolic steroid Stromba, or stanozalol, by Great Britain team doctor Jimmy Ledingham, according to the documentary. The charges were categorically dismissed by Wells.

Estimated Net Worth

The estimated net worth of Allan Wells is $3 million.


This former British athlete is the last white man to win the Olympic 100-meter dash.