Joseph McGhee Canada Scotland

Biography of Joseph McGhee

Joseph McGhee, 1948 Scottish Universities' Cross Country Championship
Joseph McGhee, 1948 Scottish Universities' Cross Country Championship

Joseph (Joe) McGhee (1929-2015) matriculated at the University of Glasgow in 1946 to study Arts. He graduated MA in 1950 and immediately continued with professional studies, graduating with a Bachelor of Education in 1951.

McGhee was an exceptional distance runner and competed for the University's Hares and Hounds Club regularly on the road and the country. His achievements included medal-winning performances at Scottish Universities' Cross Country Championships, leading Glasgow to team gold, and selection to the Scottish Universities' cross-country team every year of his studies. He was awarded Full Blues in 1948 and was Hares and Hounds' captain in 1949"50.

In 1951 McGhee was one of twelve Hares and Hounds who carried torches in the relay marking the University's Fifth Centenary. The torch was carried from Bedrule in the Scottish Borders, birthplace of University founder William Turnbull, to Gilmorehill.

After graduation McGhee taught English at a secondary school in Stirling. He later joined the RAF and by 1954 was a flight lieutenant. He was one of Scotland's best marathon runners of the 1950s: in 1953, competing for St Modan's AAC, he won Scottish-championship bronze; he was subsequently champion for three consecutive years, 1954, 1955 and 1956, running for Shettleston Harriers. In 1954 he also placed third at the Scottish Cross Country Championship.

In 1954 McGhee was selected to represent Scotland in the marathon at the British Empire and Commonwealth Games in Vancouver, Canada. There he won the gold medal making him the University's first Commonwealth Games champion. The race was run in hot conditions which decimated the field and the plight of favourite and world-recorder holder, Jim Peters from England, overshadowed McGhee's achievement.

Joe McGhee died on 17th April 2015.


Other Online Resources

Archival Materials

  • General Council Register of Members of the University of Glasgow, 1965, DC183/11/90
  • Matriculation album 1946-7, R8/5/67/6


Joseph McGhee
Born 1929.
Died 17 April 2015.
GU Degree:
University Link: Alumnus
Occupation categories: RAF officer (Flight Lieutenant); teacher
English snippet: Arts and Education graduate Joe McGhee was one of Scotland's best long-distance runners of the 1950s and won marathon gold at the 1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games in Vancouver, Canada.
Record last updated: 23rd Apr 2015

Country Associations

Canada Canada, Vancouver

Scotland Scotland, No Region

University Connections

University Roles

  • Alumnus