London Spy

60 seconds with Daley Thompson

London Spy

Eurosport spent [a little more than] 60 seconds with British Olympic legend Daley Thompson - and got the scoop that his famous Decathlon computer game is set for a mobile phone release.

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If you were one of the A-Team, who would you be?

The one in charge.

Hannibal then. When was the last time you threw a punch?

Good question! Doing a 'boxercise' class a couple of years ago.

Is the famous 'tache still in play?

Yes, but I've been thinking of doing something with it. It's looking very grey: I might dye it.

In the colours of Team GB?

I might do that if we win enough medals! Or maybe I'll just dye it gold...

Who was your sporting hero growing up?

Seb Coe, Ian Botham, Bobby Charlton.

Any good at the other sports?

Football. I played for the Mansfield Town youth team.

If you were not an athlete, what would you be?

Sports all the way. Footballer, hopefully.

But 60s takes it you have no regrets on that front?

None whatsoever!

What is the greatest song ever recorded?

Tainted Love by Soft Cell.

60s likes the Marilyn Manson cover of that.

But the difference between you and me is that I can dance and you can't.


I haven't heard the Marilyn Manson version but you can't dance to that one.

What was your first car?

A Triumph Herald. I paid £50 for it in the Sixties. What was good about it is that I sold it on for £75!

Did you rule school sports day?

I did. Until they changed the rules. They said it wasn't because I won everything, but it was.

What happened?

They limited people to two track and one field event.

Outrageous. What was your most embarrassing moment as an athlete?

I fell over and broke my collarbone while hurdling. I didn't cry or anything — and I got to the end.

Was your backflip on the crash mat in Los Angeles in 1984 planned?

No, it was spontaneous. And the first time I'd done it. Clearly I can't do it any more, I'm an old man of 53... actually, I'd probably get most of the way round.

And most importantly of all: did you ever play the classic computer game Daley Thompson's Decathlon?

On many occasions! Every day of my life people ask me about that game. I wish I had a pound...  the last two people I spoke to before you asked me about it.

What do they ask?

Whether I broke as many joysticks and keyboards playing it as them! I wasn't too bad at it... the javelin was my event.

Were you involved in its development in any way?

It was all over my head. They asked me, I agreed, and they then showed it to me — and it was all right! In fact, we're going to release a version of it on the smartphone for after the Olympics...


Don't forget — Daley Thompson's Decathlon, just after the Olympics.

Interview with Jonathan Symcox - on Twitter @Symco_Eurosport

Daley Thompson stars in MINI's 'Britalian Job', a London 2012-themed film that pays homage to the 1969 classic and celebrates MINI's partnership with Team GB and ParalympicsGB. To view the film visit

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