ABOUT THE BOOK
Walter Knox lived in two worlds. As an outstanding track and field athlete, he won amateur championships and broke world records. However, he also explored the seedy world of matched races and it's violent gambling culture.
He played the dangerous game of the con man, hustling local hotshots. Prior to WWI, amateur officials, determined to eradicate the corrupt betting sports, demanded that an athlete be a pure and honest amateur or be banned as a reviled professional. Knox tried to have it both ways. He made his money in the disreputable matched racing world, yet still manoeuvred to enter amateur competitions. The story of his life in pursuit of both money and respect is as audacious as it is fascinating.
This is the first full length, detailed biography of a Canadian professional track and field athlete in the pre-WWI era. The pros in that era sought anonymity, quietly slipping from town to town looking for high stakes races. Few records of their exploits exist. With thorough background research on why and how this struggle to control gambling in sports evolved, David Town has crafted an engaging account of Walter Knox’s unbelievable life. Brazen matched race hustler, Canadian amateur champion in five different track and field events, twice Canada’s Olympic coach, champion wrestler, wealthy gold miner, legend on the circuit of Scotland’s highland games, developer of high school sports in Ontario, he did it all.
It was a life full of adventure; a life well worth remembering.