Hear about the extraordinary life of Leander Club’s Lord Desborough at a talk to be given by his biographer Sandy Nairne on Friday May 20th at 7pm, followed by dinner. Email bookings@leander.co.uk to reserve your spot.

Click here for full details William Grenfell (1855-1945), later Lord Desborough, was a brilliant oarsman, runner, mountaineer, racing punter and fencer who became a great public servant. He was most famous for overseeing the first Olympics in London in 1908, successfully staged at less than two years notice in a brand-new White City stadium.

Sandy Nairne and Peter Williams have spent five years researching the fascinating life of Desborough under the title, Titan of the Thames. Leander members may know Desborough’s name from the Thames, from Maidenhead or Henley, from the Olympic movement or from early 20th century politics, but the book will offer the first account of his work as a great sportsman and public campaigner as well as family life with Ettie, a central figure in the intellectual grouping of the Souls, and the tragic loss of their sons Julian, Billy and Ivo.

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